APPG for local authority pension funds launches net zero transition inquiry

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Local Authority Pension Funds has launched an inquiry into “responsible investment for a just transition” to a net zero economy.

The inquiry, which will be chaired by MP Clive Betts, will examine how the UK can transition to a net zero economy in a way that will not leave people and communities behind, ahead of the United Nations (UN) Climate change conference in Glasgow.

In particular, it will place a spotlight on the efforts and contributions that local authority pension funds and other institutional investors can make towards achieving a "just transition".

This will examine how the policies and practices of pension funds can contribute towards a decarbonised and sustainable economy, that also protects beneficiaries and secures the future and livelihoods of workers and communities.

The inquiry will take evidence over the “coming months”, before outlining recommendations to UN agencies, national, devolved and local government, policymakers and investors, about how the risks climate change pose can be avoided in a “just and sustainable way”.

Commenting on the launch, Betts stated: “The move to a decarbonised economy will be felt every constituency across the country.

“This inquiry provides a timely opportunity to open up a debate with stakeholders and parliament about what this means for communities and workers and how we can manage this transition in a just way.”

Local Authority Pension Fund Forum chair, Doug McMurdo, added: “Climate change is now widely recognised and accepted by governments, companies and investors as one of largest threats that we face as a global society.

“However, despite this recognition, there has been little focus on what decarbonising our economy means for employees and communities.

“This urgently needs to be addressed so that we don’t take two steps forward towards a decarbonised economy via new technology and environmental regulation, but one step back because we have ignored the social dimension of tackling climate change.”

The inquiry comes amid the launch of a Net Zero Now pension from Cushon, with other providers, such as Aegon, also announcing plans to shift towards net zero for their default auto enrolment funds.

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