Bolton TUC is pleased that Bolton Council recently declared a Climate Emergency, and committed to a zero carbon economy by 2030. This brings us into line with the majority of Greater Manchester councils.

Both nationally (Extinction Rebellion, David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg) and locally ( increasingly larger protests in the town centre), an awareness of the escalating dangers to the planet is growing . Even Brexit can’t blind people to the peril we face if we don’t act rapidly.

Bolton TUC supports our Greater Manchester Association in writing to the Greater Manchester Pension Fund requesting an impact assessment of a gradual programme of divestment from fossil fuels over a 2 - 5 year period.

Our representatives on the fund will be mandated to call for and work towards divestment.

We believe that by focusing re - investment in areas that reduce the Fund’s carbon footprint, it is possible to generate a return that will ensure the current and future sustainability of the Fund, and indeed stabilise and improve returns, as renewables continue to grow and fossil fuels decline.

We also call upon Bolton Council to give an update at EVERY council meeting of their progress in moving forward the Climate Change resolution recently passed, with particular reference to the Pension Fund - whose current value is £23 billion, the 9th largest pension fund in the UK.

In doing this the council can show its determination to take seriously one of the most serious resolutions it will ever pass. It has the power to make a big contribution to improving the chances of our children inheriting a safe and sustainable future.

Tom Hanley

Media Correspondent

Bolton TUC