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Anti-fossil fuel campaigners plan pension fund protest in Droylsden
Thursday 18th October 2018 @ 10:07 by Tom Greggan
Droylsden News Tameside

Local residents and environmental groups will demonstrate at the Greater Manchester Pension Fund’s (GMPF) annual general meeting on Friday.

The protest, outside Guardsman Tony Downes House in Droylsden, will call for the Fund to stop investing in fossil fuel companies. Demonstrators will also present remnants of the recent moorland fires to GMPF delegates.

The GMPF is the UK’s biggest local authority pension fund and has over £1.2 billion directly invested in fossil fuel companies that engage in fracking, coal mining and oil and gas extraction.

Chris Smith, a Tameside resident and Fossil Free Greater Manchester member, said: “The devastating fires on Saddleworth Moor and Winter Hill are just a small taste of what’s to come unless we take action on climate change.

“We now know we have to take immediate steps to avoid a climate catastrophe, not carry on investing in fracking and other industries that are wrecking our climate.

Chris added: “The Fund’s annual report shows they also have over £150,000 invested in fracking in Lancashire, contrary to most Greater Manchester authorities’ policies.”

The Fund’s AGM takes place as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made it clear that immediate action is required to limit global warming.

“As we move away from our dependence on fossil fuels, we don’t want local pensioners to suffer as these investments continue to lose value” said Smith.

A growing number of local authority pension funds have already begun to stop investing in fossil fuels, including Merseyside and South Yorkshire.  Globally, over 900 institutions have done so with a value of over $7 trillion.