Last Tuesday, Bradford Council decided not to call on the West Yorkshire Pension Fund, which it administers, to withdraw at the earliest opportunity from its 500m investments in fossil fuel companies. It decided not to follow Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield Councils in seeking an early divestment. Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe declared that councillors should not think they can take financial decisions on the Fund’s behalf, though only a review of how to divest had been called for. Instead the Council decided to urge the fund to “wind down” holdings in fossil fuels and make a commitment “to significant progress towards net-zero by 2030.” That is not even calling for divestment.
The report by the Telegraph and Argus focuses on Extinction Rebellion’s support for divestment from fossil fuels, but they would probably be the first to highlight the work by Fossil Free West Yorkshire and the lobbying of councillors at City Hall last week of Friends of the Earth, Global Justice, Unite the Union, BSTA, and others.