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News release: Demonstrators take life-size elephant to Pension Conference that is ignoring climate science (Fossil Free GM and Extinction Rebellion)

news release

Extinction Rebellion and Fossil Free GM are demonstrating outside a major pension conference in Manchester on Wednesday morning 18th October [07.45 – 09.15]. 

Accompanied by a life-size model elephant the demonstrators will be calling out the “elephant in the room”: climate change. As delegates enter the building, the campaigners will be pointing to the lack of climate science in pension fund investment advice.

“Pension funds are investing billions of our money in fossil fuels, expecting profits even at 4 degrees of global warming and totally underestimating the impact of fossil fuel driven climate change. Mercers, the financial advisors sponsoring the conference, have been shown in a recent report to ignore climate science in their advice. The conference itself has devoted a token 20 minute ‘fireside chat’ to Net Zero. The finance sector needs to wake up to climate science and start investing in a sustainable future” says campaigner Clare Cummings.

Dr David McKelvey, a retired GP, said “The primary concern of most pensioners is good health, but the continued investment in Fossil Fuels is undermining the possibility that pensioners will be able to enjoy good health.  It is also meaning a worse chance that our children will have healthy lives.  Really Pension Funds need to ensure they follow science and to reflect on what the ‘Loading the dice on pensions’ report means, not only for their fiduciary duties, but also their ethical duties not to harm life.”

The Greater Manchester Pension Fund has £1.34 billion of its members’ money invested in fossil fuel companies. The demonstrators are urging the Greater Manchester and other pension funds to re-evaluate the advice they receive and divest from fossil fuels.  The demonstrators urge the public to contact their pension fund to lobby them to divest from fossil fuels. 


Editors notes:

1. Photos from the demonstration will be available via Flickr

2. The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Assoc Conference is being held at Manchester Central:  Oct 17th – 19th

3. The report ‘Loading the DICE against pension funds’ by Professor Steve Keen is published by the NGO Carbon Tracker and is available at

4. Another report: ‘Emperor’s New Climate Scenarios’ by The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Exeter University.

5. Detail on GM Pension Fund:

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