THIS week, Greens led a small but important resistance against the industries we know are killing the planet.

When councillors on the Strathclyde Pension Fund (SPF) committee met on Wednesday, they were asked to reject calls to divest from fossil fuels. The recommendations had the audacity to suggest divestment wasn’t “realistic or effective”.

Whereas in the past this might have been nodded through, this time many on the committee pushed back, led by my Green colleague, Councillor Martha Wardrop.

Not only is it realistic and effective to move our pensions away from investing in the world’s biggest polluters; it’s urgently necessary.

The science is clear; we only have 10 years. While net zero by 2045 or 2050 might seem a long way off, we need the vast majority of emissions to go in the next decade. It’s an emergency, and we need to act like it.

Opponents of divestment argue that we can have more influence by staying at the table as an “activist investor”. But there’s little to suggest that approach is making a meaningful difference. Not one major industry player has stopped trying to find new sources of oil and gas, despite it being known that to stay within 1.5C of warming we can’t use more than one-fifth of the reserves we already know about.

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We cannot leave it up to big business to carry out this transition. We must do what we can as pension holders (both my wife and I are with SPF) and as citizens.

Divestment might carry some risks, but it also presents huge opportunities. We can channel funds into low-carbon industries, supporting our local economy and investing in a sustainable future. The evidence from cities like Berlin, London, Oslo and Stockholm where pension funds have started to divest shows no negative impact.

We would not be going into this alone. We would be following in the footsteps of many other city governments, universities and bodies around the world. The European Investment Bank – the world’s largest public bank – has recently committed to divestment, and a group of 40 cities around the world, called C40, are meeting later this month to advance plans collaboratively.

There are those in both the finance and fossil fuel sectors who try to discredit divestment. But let’s be clear – they are acting in their own narrow self-interest, not the public good.

The Scottish Greens have always challenged greenwash and spin. Whether that’s campaigning against public funds going to arms-makers who supply bloody regimes, or calling out the hypocrisy of still ploughing billions into building ever-bigger roads after declaring a climate emergency.

With divestment, it’s Glasgow’s claims of climate leadership that are at stake. We can win the argument, but it will need others to step up too. The issue is coming back to the pensions committee in September, right on the eve of COP26. As the eyes of the world will be on us, the timing is perfect to choose a greener future.