7th October 2020

Post updated, 9 October, 2020.

In 2019, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) announced that it was moving some £2.3 Billion of funds to a new “low carbon Fund”.  They have also claimed that this is one of the largest divestments from fossil fuels by any UK Pension Fund.

Using data provided by the Fund, we calculated the value of this apparent ‘divestment’ and found:

It’s not all bad:

It is great that the Fund has proven that it is capable of moving funds into a low carbon Fund. The low-carbon fund seems to be pretty good. It does at least avoid investments in coal but until the Fund gives us more details, it is difficult to know exactly how ‘low-carbon’ it is.

But it’s not that impressive:

Although the Pension Fund transferred £2.37 billion to a low-carbon fund, we estimate that only £117 million of these funds were invested in fossil fuels before.  The effective divestment is a little smaller than this, at about £100 million because we estimate that the “low carbon” fund still has some £16M worth of fossil fuel industry investments. This means that only a small proportion, about 6%, of the Fund’s total fossil fuel investments have been taken out and put in a low-carbon fund instead. A drop in the ocean compared to the Fund’s overall fossil fuel investments, approximately £1.7 Billion (or £1.6 Billion to go) as this graph shows.

 

graph showing impact of partial divestment

Graph showing impact of partial divestment.

So, it’s a small step in the right direction. But, there is a very long way to go and the Climate Emergency is not getting any less urgent.

We call on the Fund to divest all of their climate damaging investments and fund the solution instead of the crisis.

If you would like the detail behind our calculations, click here for the link to our full analysis.