COP26: World leaders urged to use pension 'superpower' in climate change fight

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Thérèse Coffey, has urged world leaders at COP26 to follow the UK’s lead in utilising the investment power of pension funds in the fight against climate change.

In a speech to mark Finance Day, Coffey outlined how the UK is mobilising billions of pounds of climate finance through pension funds to help drive the journey to net zero.

Coffey said: “COP26 must be a defining moment for the world to get to grips with climate change.

“Our pensions can be a superpower that delivers prosperity for people and the planet in our race to net zero and by following our example, I sincerely hope others around the world can unlock a similar power and propel our world to net zero.”

The government recently announced plans to require pension schemes to measure and report on how their investments align with the Paris Agreement, with Coffey arguing that pension schemes could be a "superpower" in delivering net zero.

New sustainability disclosure requirements, recently outlined in the government's Roadmap to Sustainable Investing, are also expected to "empower" pension schemes to better consider climate-related factors in their decision making.

In addition to this, Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced plans to make the UK the "world’s first" net zero-aligned finance centre at COP26, with asset managers, regulated asset owners and listed companies to be required to publish climate transition plans.

Whilst at the summit, Coffey also took part in a Green Horizons panel discussion and held meetings with representatives from finance organisations, such as Blackrock, Legal and General, and Willis Towers Watson.

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