14 August 2018
A Green Party councillor has called on Bradford Council to take the lead and dump tobacco investments.
This comes as an investigation by The Guardian uncovers that West Yorkshire Pension Fund – which is run by Bradford Council - is by far the largest direct investor in tobacco stock – with a staggering £284m invested, including £180m in British American Tobacco alone.
The Guardian also revealed that figures from Public Health England showed that the Bradford has one of the highest levels of smoking-related mortality in Yorkshire with an estimated 350 per 100,000 of the population over 35 in 2014-16.The average rate for England is 272.
Cllr Kevin Warnes has said “The Green Group on the council has called on Bradford to use its position at the West Yorkshire Pension Fund to invest its resources more ethically, which means ditching stocks in tobacco companies and fossil fuels.
“The Green Party believes that local authorities should invest their resources for the public good – as well as the good of investors. That means ditching shares in tobacco and fossil fuels and investing in sustainable industries.
“Pension funds across the world have already acknowledged that running their funds ethically isn’t incompatible with delivering returns for investors. The Labour Group in Bradford is continuing the hold West Yorkshire back by refusing to accept it’s social responsibility”.
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