Guest comment: ESG to continue as high priority in 2020

It’s fair to say that 2019 saw a sea-change in how schemes are regulated on investment on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

As long-term investors, many pension schemes were already working hard to ensure that they consider financially-material ESG issues in their investment decisions.

But will 2020 continue the push towards ESG where 2019 left off? The simple answer is yes.

October 2020 will see first ‘implementation statements’ for DC schemes under the 2018 changes, while also seeing the first set of disclosures under SRD II.

The emphasis on climate-related reporting will continue to be a high priority and the climate change discussion is one that the PLSA will continue to contribute to on its members’ behalf.

For example, we are part of the taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) working group, that will produce asset owner guidance, which will go out for consultation in the first quarter of 2020.

Looking to the immediate future, the PLSA will continue to support members in getting to grips with the new reality of ESG regulations.

We’ll work to support the production of helpful TCFD guidance for schemes and publish our 2020 voting guidelines that will also outline more clearly how members should engage and vote, particularly on climate issues.

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