Who supports us?
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Videos from Pension Fund members Climate experts Councillors and council candidates Citizen groups MPs Trade unionists Photo gallery
Videos from Pension Fund members
Climate scientists at the University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre have given their support to our call for GMPF to divest from its fossil fuel holdings. They tell us that we need action to close down the supply of fossil fuels and make the point that engagement with the fossil fuel companies is a very weak strategy indeed for achieving that.
“Since I worked on the oil rigs in the 1980s, people have argued that engaging with fossil fuel companies is more effective than divesting. In that time the fossil fuel majors have extracted more than 200 thousand million tonnes of carbon and are planning to extract many times that again. This carbon will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds if not thousands of years. I hope it doesn’t take that long for engagement to convince these companies to leave it in the ground.”
Prof Kevin Anderson
“The carbon budgets we developed for Greater Manchester are intended to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature objectives. To keep within this limit 80% of exploitable coal, oil and gas reserves have to remain under the ground. We need to tackle both the demand for fossil fuels and the supply and divesting is an effective way to do this.”
Dr John Broderick
Councillors and council candidates
When asked by Manchester Friends of the Earth if they support the Fund divesting, an overwhelming, cross party, majority of council election candidates across Greater Manchester did:
On 10 July, 2019, Manchester City Council overwhelmingly passed a motion declaring a climate emergency. It is included this clause:
“Through our role on GMPF, encourage divestment in fossil fuels as early as possible.”
At our lobby and demonstration of the Pension Fund’s AGM on 19 July, 2019, twelve groups were represented: Fossil Free Greater Manchester, Tameside Trades Council, Tameside Green Party, Fridays for a Future, Frack Free GM, Stockport Anti-fracking, Manchester FOE, Fracking and health, Manchester Campaign against Climate Change, SERA (The Labour Environment Campaign), Steady State Manchester and Extinction Rebellion. Individuals were members of at least three political parties (Labour, Green, Women’s Equality) and many are union members. There were parents with young children, working age adults including those contributing via superannuation to the Pension Fund, and retired people including GMPF pensioners. This demonstrates the increasing broad base of the fossil fuel divestment movement.
The following local MPs have signed our divestment pledge, lending their support to the campaigns calling on the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the Parliamentary Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels:
- Debbie Abrahams MP (Oldham East & Saddleworth), former Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions
- Kate Green MP (Stretford & Urmston)
- Andrew Gwynne MP (Denton & Reddish), Shadow Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government
- Afzal Khan MP (Manchester Gorton)
- Rebecca Long-Bailey MP (Salford & Eccles), Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
- Lisa Nandy MP (Wigan), former Shadow Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change
- Angela Rayner MP (Ashton-under-Lyne), Shadow Secretary of State for Education
- Jonathan Reynolds MP (Stalybridge & Hyde)
- Jeff Smith MP (Manchester Withington)
North West Unison’s Climate Action Group has an online petition (March, 2021) you can sign.
— Fossil Free GM (@FossilFreeGM) June 20, 2018
— Ali Abbas (@ali_mfoe) April 13, 2018
— Fossil Free GM (@FossilFreeGM) April 16, 2018
We’re delighted that @Debbie_abrahams MP has backed our call for the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to ditch its shares in risky, polluting fossil fuel companies. She agrees it’s unacceptable for @GMPF_LGPS to put our pensions, our environment and our health at risk. #DivestGMPF pic.twitter.com/m6pktaZwip
— Fossil Free GM (@FossilFreeGM) November 24, 2017
We’re delighted that Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury (City Minister) @jreynoldsMP is supporting our call for @GMPF_LGPS to decarbonise its investment portfolio. It’s time for Manchester to #divest from risky, dirty fossil fuel companies just like New York & others have pic.twitter.com/tukLgTNa5b
— Fossil Free GM (@FossilFreeGM) February 12, 2018
— Afzal Khan MP (@Afzal4Gorton) October 13, 2017
— Ali Abbas (@ali_mfoe) October 13, 2017
— Ali Abbas (@ali_mfoe) August 14, 2017
And ordinary citizens support us too.
And more pic.twitter.com/6lAkQ1jiHC
— Fossil Free GM (@FossilFreeGM) July 8, 2019