The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has launched a new forum to seek views on how the retirement savings sector can address climate risk.
The PLSA is inviting pension schemes, the wider financial services industry, the public and stakeholders to give their views on the practical ways the sector can meet this challenge.
PLSA chair Richard Butcher will lead a series of online roundtables from June to give pension schemes a structured forum to discuss ideas, solutions and barriers to the pension industry operating in ways which have a positive impact in helping the UK achieve its Paris Climate Agreement commitments.
In addition the PLSA is also inviting all interested parties to submit evidence on the following questions:
- How are pension funds currently incorporating climate considerations into their investment approaches?
- What are the biggest practical challenges to effective consideration and implementation of climate-aware investment strategies?
- To what extent will existing industry, policy or regulatory initiatives be effective in overcoming these challenges?
- Are there any industry, policy or regulatory initiatives which would support you in consideration of climate risks and opportunities?
Individuals and organisations have until August 14 to submit evidence and views on these questions. They can be submitted via the PLSA website.
The PLSA says climate change is a systemic risk to nearly every business in every sector. It says it beleive that every segment in institutional investment chain must work in alignment to tackle the climate emergency and ensure the ongoing stability of the financial system.
It adds that significant good work has been undertaken by both policymakers and the investment industry to achieve greater decarbonisation. However, the PLSA believes that there remains room for improvement.
Climate risk is one of the PLSA’s top policy priorities for 2020 and builds upon its extensive track record on responsible investment. This latest initiative falls within a programme of work designed to find workable solutions to the remaining barriers to green finance and provide practical support for actors across the investment chain.
The PLSA is committed to supporting schemes, including through practical guidance, to act as good stewards of their assets, influencing positive change across the value chain and has produced guidance on this issue in recent years.
The findings of both the roundtables and the call for evidence will be outlined in a report, alongside recommendations for policy action, to be published later in the year.
Butcher adds: “As stewards of trillions of pounds of people’s savings, pension schemes have a duty to ensure that members’ money is managed responsibly.
“The PLSA is rightly proud of its efforts to encourage the pension industry to prioritise climate risk to date. With the engagement this work has brought, and new climate regulations in force, I am excited to be getting the opportunity to discuss with scheme CEOs, CIOs, trustees and anybody else to turn enthusiasm into action and take the agenda further.”
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