Green councillors in Bristol last night charged Labour and Conservative councillors with ignoring the climate emergency, as they voted to amend a Green Party motion calling for fossil fuel divestment, rendering it ineffective. The Green motion called on the Council to lobby its multibillion pound local pension fund (Avon Pension Fund) to move its investments out of fossil fuels. The motion and debate came at the end of a council meeting in which the Council presented a report on tackling the Climate Emergency.
Responding to Labour’s amendment to the Green Party motion, Cllr Fodor said:
“Four years ago Bristol Labour amended a motion I brought to the council calling for us to pull pension funds out of fossil fuels and removed the call for divestment. Now, at the very same meeting that the Council heard the administration’s plans for the Climate Emergency, Labour have voted with Conservatives to again block action on divestment, amending the Green motion in order to maintain the Pension Fund’s fossil fuel investments and continue with the discredited approach of ‘engagement’ (or ‘having conversations’ with fossil fuel companies).”
“The time for dialogue with fossil fuel companies is so clearly over – these are the companies who have lobbied for increased methane pollution, asked for tax breaks, and plan expanded exploration and production. They claim to do one thing, like stick to the Paris climate agreement, but act the opposite way. Divestment is also backed by UNISON, the council’s largest union, who recognise that if we do not act soon there is a real risk that workers’ pensions will be stuck invested in ‘stranded assets’ as the value of fossil fuel investments falls.”
Greens felt they had no choice but to abstain on their own motion after an amendment by Labour made fundamental changes to it. A statement from Bristol Council’s largest union UNISON had earlier urged councillors to vote for the un-amended Green motion.
Councillor Fodor explained:
“Labour’s amendment removed the ‘Divestment’ from our divestment motion so we cannot vote for the motion as amended – it’s pointless. If Labour and Conservative politicians – including our Mayor – want to talk the talk on the climate emergency then they need to follow through in their actions and not block steps to actually achieve carbon neutrality when it counts.
“Meanwhile Greens will continue to demand the Mayor listens to what his employees in UNISON want – invest in the future economy, not the past, and safeguard the planet for future generations. The Mayor must use the Council’s influence on the Avon Pension Fund to pull investments out of fossil fuels.”
For Councillor Fodor’s motion and the amendment moved by Labour, see attached document. The relevant amended text which supports the council’s current approach of 'engagement' over divestment, is in point 18.
A defunct plan for a bygone era” - regional authority approves road-building plans
Last Friday (20 March) the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) approved a transport plan that will fund new road building projects across the region but commits no funding for public transport or walking and cycling schemes.
Greens: 'lift the ban' on asylum seekers working
Green Councillors call for end to illogical ban on asylum seekers supporting themselves
Council heading in wrong direction on climate emergency
Over a year after Bristol Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency, Green Councillors say the Labour administration are making a series of bad decisions that will only make the emergency worse.
Mayor's inaction on air pollution - plans delayed again
Letter on the Mayor's inaction on air pollution from Green Group leader Eleanor Combley
Labour cabinet pass 'potentially illegal' transport plan
Last night Bristol’s Labour cabinet passed a regional transport plan that Greens warned is incompatible with the climate emergency and may be illegal under the UK’s climate commitments.
Greens criticise lack of action as climate and transport proposal is blocked
Green councillors have criticised what they called a “business as usual” approach as Labour and Tory councillors voted down a Green amendment to tackle Bristol’s transport issues and reduce carbon emissions.
Green Party welcomes Greta Thunberg to Bristol
Greta Thunberg has announced she will be visiting Bristol on Friday 28 February to join a Youth Strike 4 Climate demo.
Green budget amendment tackles transport and climate crisis
Green Councillors have submitted an amendment to next week’s Council budget meeting to deal with Bristol's gridlocked transport system and boost the Council’s work to tackle the climate emergency.
Region’s Transport Plan must be changed in light of Climate Emergency
Green Mayoral candidate, Climate Emergency leader, and UWE transport expert call on the Metro Mayor and Council leaders not to approve the Joint Local Transport Plan in its current form next month, stating that proposed new roads will worsen the climate crisis and congestion.
Bristol Airport expansion plans rejected
Press Release from Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN), one of the key campaigning organisations .
Chocolate Path 'melts' into river after council fails to act
Green Councillors have accused Bristol's Labour administration of “enormous incompetence” for failing to carry out important works to repair Bristol’s ‘chocolate path’ long after funding was approved in September 2018, leading to its recent collapse and the closure of Cumberland road.
Why we need to tackle the ecological emergency too
Carla Denyer writes for 24/7 about why we need to address the Ecological Emergency as well as the Climate Emergency
Greens to join march against Bristol Airport Expansion
Bristol Green Councillors will be joining a march taking place 31 January in the city against the expansion of Bristol airport, as the planning decision in North Somerset draws nearer, with the date now set for 10 Feb.
Council passes Green motion to ‘reboot democracy’ with Citizens' Assemblies
At Full Council today (14 January) a Green Party motion passed to ‘reboot democracy’, committing Bristol to trialling participatory democracy schemes such as citizens’ assemblies.
Mayor continues to support airport expansion
Despite growing pressure from climate activists, local councils and Greens, Bristol’s Labour Mayor Marvin Rees continues to back the expansion of Bristol Airport, a development Greens say is incompatible with Bristol's own carbon neutrality targets.
'Reboot democracy' with Citizens' Assemblies
Green Councillors in Bristol have proposed putting decision making on some major issues in the hands of ordinary Bristolians through ‘Citizens’ Assemblies’ and other forms of participatory democracy.
Bristol Labour block opportunity to oppose airport expansion
Labour and Tory councillors voted against providing time to debate the Green motion in what could be the last chance for the council to make a statement before the planning decision at North Somerset Council.
Rescuing Our Healthcare - with £6 billion per year
We will push the government to prioritise the health and happiness of those in Bristol and across the UK.
Green Party Manifesto - to tackle Climate Emergency and deliver Social Justice.
A Green New Deal to tackle the Climate Emergency and deliver Social Justice.
One year on from declaring a Climate Emergency – is Bristol on track?
One year after declaring a Climate Emergency in Bristol, Greens say new information from environmental group shows the city needs to radically step up action to meet climate targets.
Green candidate Carla Denyer will be only ‘Unite to Remain’ candidate in Bristol West
Greens bid to win Bristol West – launch crowdfunder
Candidate Carla Denyer has launched a crowdfunder campaign aiming to raise enough funds to take the seat from Labour. Greens in strong position to win after Euro results place them ahead of Lib Dems, and Labour suffered devastating electoral defeat.
‘Tinkering around the edges is no longer good enough’ say Greens
Green Mayoral Candidate Sandy Hore-Ruthven responds to the Mayor’s State of the City address saying Bristol needs action not words. Greens say bold, immediate moves are needed to combat the social and environmental crises.
Report on former Chief Exec payoff
Green Councillor Clive Stevens has completed a report into why the Council made a £98,000 payoff to former chief executive Anna Klonowski
Greens send letter to the city to encourage all to hear Extinction Rebellion warning
Green MP and Mayoral candidates Carla Denyer and Sandy Hore-Ruthven have issued a letter to the people of Bristol today, calling on the city to face up to the climate crisis.
Better buses starts with tackling congestion, say Greens
At a Cabinet meeting today (1 October), Greens called for bolder action to improve public transport in Bristol.
Mayor misses third government deadline on Clean Air plan
Today Bristol City Council has missed the third deadline set by national government to submit a plan to clean up Bristol’s air. Green Mayoral candidate Sandy Hore-Ruthven has called for immediate action.
Nearly 1 year after Climate Emergency declared, progress is too slow, say Greens
The Green Councillor who launched Bristol’s ‘Climate Emergency’ motion in November 2018 has called on councillors from all parties to join her in pressing the administration for urgent action.
Green Party sets sights on second Westminster seat – Bristol West
Bristol West MP candidate Carla Denyer launched her campaign at the Bristol climate strike. Her climate emergency declaration was the first in Europe – driving action on climate change across the continent. Greens aim to elect a second MP to join Caroline Lucas in Westminster after European Elections win.
Green Party chooses Climate Emergency campaigner Carla Denyer to win Bristol West parliamentary seat
Former wind turbine engineer and current city councillor, Carla Denyer, has been picked to contest the winnable seat of Bristol West for the Green Party at the coming General Election.