Pension funds covering £3trn pressured on fossil fuel investments and net-zero alignment

Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis has launched a new campaign pressuring UK pension funds to halve the emissions of their portfolios by 2030 and bring them to net-zero by 2050.

A recent YouGov survey of more than 4,400 Brits found that 72% do not know whether their pension is invested in line with their values

A recent YouGov survey of more than 4,400 Brits found that 72% do not know whether their pension is invested in line with their values

Called ‘Make My Money Matter’, the campaign’s overarching ambition is to fundamentally shift the way in which the UK’s £3trn pension pot is invested, uniting consumers, employers and policy to do so.

Through a string of communications campaigns and events, the campaign will urge employers to align their pension with their missions and values, equipping staff with advice on engaging their employer, and executives with tools to measure whether their pension funds have a positive impact on the environment and society.

It will also lobby the Government ahead of the forthcoming Pensions Bill. The Bill, Make My Money Matter argues, should require all pension funds to report on their emissions projections through to 2050. Individuals will be able to join the campaign in making this demand through an online petition.

Aside from Comic Relief, which joined the Funder Commitment on Climate Change and pledged to end fossil fuel investment earlier this year, Make My Money Matter is being backed by 20 organisations. Among them are Oxfam, WWF, BNP Paribas UK, Triodos Bank and the Environment Agency Pension Fund – one of the UK’s largest government pension schemes. The Environment Agency is notably targeting net-zero in its operations and supply chain by 2030.

Mark Carney, UN special envoy for climate action and finance, former Bank of England governor and finance advisor for COP26, also offered his support for Make My Money Matter. Speaking at the campaign’s launch event, he said it could “support the whole-economy transition required to achieve net-zero” and “turn the existential risks from climate change into the greatest commercial opportunity of our time”.

Carney added that disclosure will be a key focus for the finance sector ahead of COP26, which will take place in November 2021 after Covid-19-related delays.

The UK Government’s Green Finance Strategy mandates disclosure in line with Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations from 2022. However, this requirement does not apply to businesses of all sizes and sectors. Calls are now growing for more Government clarity ahead of the TCFD mandate to help businesses determine how to meet its scenario analysis requirements.


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Sarah George



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