APPT launches responsible investment and climate change committee

The Association of Professional Pension Trustees (APPT) has announced the launch of a new responsible investment and climate change committee.

Formed as part of the APPT’s response to the government consultation on improving scheme climate risk governance and reporting, the committee has been established to support professional trustees adjust to new climate regulations.

The consultation sets out proposals that will require trustees for larger pension schemes to address climate risks and opportunities.

Although the APPT said it was supportive of the proposals, it noted that once the regulations are rolled out to smaller schemes they may find it “challenging” to implement the framework with out a “step change in the level of investment governance”.

The committee, which will be chaired by Independent Trustee Services (ITS) director, Tegs Harding, will also aim to urge professional trustees to ensure climate risk is being managed effectively, and to try and drive change in the industry.

“The changes set out in the DWP consultation will result in a step change for the investment governance requirements of many schemes, particularly around how to assess climate risk embedded in the employer covenant,” said Harding.

“Still, the regulations won’t hit all schemes equally. Many of the tools trustees need to properly assess climate risk are still in their development stages and it will be a challenge for the industry to roll these out more widely.

“If we are to enable the whole industry to move beyond tick box policies to meaningfully engage with the companies they invest in, there is still work to do. This has to come from joined up investor action, and that is why we have set up this committee to support our members and help drive activity over the next 12 months and beyond.”

The committee will be formed of Harding, Pi Pension Trustees independent trustee, Nigel Hill, ndapt non-executive director, Marcus Hurd, and BESTrustees trustee executive, Andrew Cole.

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