Almost a third of pension savers could be investing in climate-damaging companies

Nearly a third (32 per cent) of savers are investing their money in pension funds that could see them funding oil and gas companies and other industries having an adverse effect on the environment, research by Clim8 Invest has found.

Half (50 per cent) of the respondents did not know where their money was invested.

The majority (57 per cent) of savers said they would be surprised to learn that their savings are invested in companies that damage the environment, despite 61 per cent highlighting climate change as their number one concern.

Nearly (48 per cent) half of those questioned felt that sustainable investments could have a meaningful impact on the planet, and 25 per cent felt that impact investing could have a more significant impact than making lifestyle changes.

The company argued that “many people” are putting off impact investing, with 59 per cent stating that a lack of knowledge was the main barrier to investing sustainably, and 30 per cent citing confusing terminology.

Clim8 Invest CEO and founder, Duncan Grierson, stated: “When you consider that UK consumers’ top two concerns are climate change and saving for their future, it’s clear that by having their savings and pensions with typical fund providers, they are potentially being hit by a double whammy.

“On the one hand, they are unwittingly funding the very thing they are concerned about.

"On the other, people who stick with typical fund providers will likely get a poorer return as users move away from companies with products and services that damage the environment.”

He added: “The problem appears to be one of perception. The impact investment industry, where Clim8 is now innovating, needs to do better at educating people that there are alternatives that will deliver a great return financially and a more secure future for them and the planet.

“Our balanced sustainability portfolio has done well despite Covid and the market correction. Over the last 12 months it would have given a return to investors of 9.7 per cent.”

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