On 13 September 2016, ShareAction and ClientEarth told a joint FoE / WinAC open meeting how to challenge our pension funds to carry out their legal duty to take account of climate risks.

This is important if you are in a local government pension scheme, a company pension scheme or a private pension, already drawing your pension or still paying into one.

The main messages were: 

  • The investments made by pension funds can be a force for good, supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy
  • Climate change poses a financial risk to pension fund investments
  • Your fund has a legal duty to take these risks into account.
  • There are various ways in which you can engage with and challenge your fund to take action!

 Find out more:

People in the Hampshire Pension Fund (local Government pension scheme) were especially interested because a small group is already asking questions about how they handle climate risks. If you want to join forces with them, email pension@winacc.org.uk

Jess Clark, Pension Power Organiser from Share Action, invites others to contact her:

"If anyone would like to discuss this further in relation to their own fund and the action plans that everyone started working on then please feel free to get in touch. I’d be more than happy to assist you in harnessing your pension power!!" 

 ShareAction (Fairshare Educational Foundation), 16 Crucifix Lane, London, SE1 3JW 020 71832358 www.shareaction.org

More details about the speakers:

  • Natalie Smith. Company and Financial Lawyer, ClientEarth. Natalie has been at ClientEarth since January 2015 working on legal analysis around the duties of pension fund trustees and fund managers to consider climate risks when making investment decisions on behalf of members. She has also been involved in developing strategies around shifting institutional investor behaviour toward a low-carbon economy, using the law as a tool to do this. Prior to her work at ClientEarth, Natalie was an environmental litigation lawyer in Toronto, Canada.
  • Jess Clark, Pension Power Organiser, ShareAction. ShareAction’s Pension Power work is about giving pension fund members a voice in how their money is invested and making the scheme accountable to savers as the ultimate beneficiary. Jess works with a range of pension savers to support them in engaging with their scheme to influence how their money is invested, and to ensure they are taking account of the financial risks associated with climate change.