Council echoes Greens' call for Sheffield to steer clear of fossil fuels

Green Party councillor Rob Murphy
Green Party councillor Rob Murphy
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Sheffield's Green Party councillors have welcomed a renewed pledge to keep the city as free of fossil fuels as possible.

At Wednesday's full council meeting Coun Rob Murphy proposed a motion calling on the council not to invest in fossil fuels, and set a target of becoming the UK's 'first fossil-free city'.

Labour councillors were quick to point out that the council already had a similar policy, but Green members wanted it put on record.

After some debate, an amended motion was put forward and passed. It said: "The council does not and will not invest in fossil fuels, demonstrating the council’s existing commitment to leading by example on fossil fuel divestment.”

After the meeting, Green leader Coun Murphy said: “This is great news that the council will no longer make risky fossil fuel investments and can invest in positive alternatives such as housing, clean energy and the local economy

“The challenge is now on to other institutions and employers in the city, including the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority.”

Pollution over Meadowhall.

Pollution over Meadowhall.

The debate continued on Twitter, with Coun Neale Gibson saying to Coun Murphy: "We haven't invested for a number of years, not last minute change."

And Coun Ben Curran said: "The council does not and will not invest in fossil fuels. Made that commitment long before your motion."

Major cities such as Oslo, Berlin and Melbourne are among those to agree to steer away from investment in fossil fuels.

Former national Green Party leader Natalie Bennett was also in Sheffield yesterday collecting signatures for an anti-fracking petition outside the Town Hall.