Net zero now backed by £1trn of UK pension money

Pension providers representing £1trn of UK pension money have now made net-zero climate commitments, according to Make My Money Matter (MMMM).

MMMM pointed to providers such as Scottish Widows, Aviva and Nest as firms that had put climate "at the heart" of their investment strategies.

Its research showed that public awareness around the link between savers’ money and climate change had increased since the beginning of 2021, as well as expectations for providers to offer green pensions to their customers.

This increase represented a 50 per cent growth in awareness among savers around the link between their pensions and climate change.

The integration of pensions into the climate change strategies of businesses across the UK has also increased, with companies such as Tesco, IKEA, Brewdog and Innocent Drinks, signing up to MMMM’s Green Pensions Charter.

Despite this progress, much of UK savers’ money remains invested in schemes that have yet to align with the Paris Climate agreement, with £1.7trn not yet contributing to net zero.

MMMM co-founder, Richard Curtis, commented: “Since we launched in June 2020, we have seen a range of providers step up to the plate on climate change by committing to robust net-zero targets.

“This movement has seen an incredible milestone at the turn of the year, with £1trn of UK pension money now committed to align with the Paris Climate Agreement – a huge success for climate campaigners.

“However, with time running out, £1.7trn is still in schemes that have failed to make robust commitments, and we have a pensions industry that enables a staggering 330 million tonnes of carbon to enter out atmosphere every year – equivalent to the UK’s annual carbon footprint – so urgent action is needed right now.

“That’s why this year our campaign will be working to ensure the entire UK pensions industry is aligned with robust net zero, while eradicating other harmful practices from our pensions, such as deforestation.

“In doing so, we can help protect the planet, protect savers’ returns, and ensure out pensions are building a world worth retiring in.”

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