CofE board convenes pension schemes to support climate transition in EM

A group of 12 UK pension funds convened by the Church of England (CofE) Pensions Board will jointly consider how to support the climate transition in emerging markets (EM).

Supported by Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, the funds outlined their intentions at the opening of the Net Zero Delivery Summit in London.

The 12 funds, which represent £400bn assets under management, include some of the largest in the UK, such as BT Pension Fund, Nest and Legal & General Workplace Pension Plan.

Recognising the urgency of supporting the climate transition in emerging economies, the 12 funds have committed to explore how greater impacts could be achieved through a shared understanding of the need, opportunity and mechanisms to provide such investments in these markets.

The intervention was agreed following an investor roundtable hosted by the CofE Pensions Board with Opperman in the context of UK’s COP26 Presidency in the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Ahead of COP27 in Egypt, the group plans to set out the steps they intend to take in line with their respective investment strategies.

The funds also issued a statement pledging to better understand the needs of emerging economies and the required climate transition, recognise the urgency of the climate transition and to be in a position by COP27 to outline their response.

CofE Pensions Board chair, Clive Mather, commented: “We are committed to supporting the global climate transition and to playing the role we can, on our members’ behalf, to support real world emissions reductions in emerging markets.

“We are clear that the level of investment required in emerging markets will only be achieved if we can increase ambition and work with other investors.

“This initiative will be key to our understanding and our approach as well as identifying the support we require from the UK government to work constructively with our peers to achieve real world emissions reductions.”

Opperman added: “I welcome today’s statement from the Church of England Pensions Board and leading industry members and thank them for our morning together formulating policy options at Church House.

“I look forward to working closely together to assess how we can further unleash the productive power of UK pensions in support of the climate transition in emerging economies, while also delivering sustainable returns for members.”

The 12 funds are: Border to Coast Pensions Partnership, Brunel Pension Partnership, BT Pension Fund, CofE Pensions Board, Environment Agency Pension Fund, Nest, Northern LGPS, L&G Master Trust, L&G Workplace Pension Plan and Stakeholder Pension Plan, Railpen, USS, and West Yorkshire Pension Fund.

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