UK pension funds sign up to Net Zero Asset Owner Commitment

UK pension funds are amongst the new signatories to the Paris-Aligned Investment Initiative's Net-Zero Asset Owner Commitment.

South Yorkshire Pension Fund, Wiltshire Pension Fund and TPT Retirement Solutions join Europe's largest pension fund, ABP, the Church of Sweden and National Trust in signing up to the commitment.

The Paris-Aligned Investment Initiative is a collaborative investor-led international forum that enables signatories to align their portfolios and activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The commitment will see the pension funds decarbonise their investment portfolios by 2050 and increase their investment in climate solutions.

Signatories must also set interim targets for decarbonisation and investment, and undertake policy advocacy and engagement, and voting in line with net-zero targets.

The pension funds will use the Net-Zero Investment Framework as the approach for delivering the objectives in the fight against climate change.

The six new signatories represent US $617bn in assets under management and join 38 existing framework signatories, which represent US $8.5trn in assets.

"Net-zero commitments are vital but must be matched with robust action plans," commented Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change CEO, Stephanie Pfeifer.

"Growing uptake of the Net-Zero Investment Framework ensures more investors are now able to maximise their contribution to the energy transition by adopting a net-zero investment strategy."

TPT Retirement Solution chief investment officer, Cliff Speed, added: "Climate change represents a systematic risk to the long-term value of our investment portfolio and has the potential to reduce the security of out members' retirement benefits.

"At the same time, the investment required to transition to a net-zero economy presents a significant opportunity to support the expansion of climate solutions.

"Making a commitment to transition our portfolio to net zero by 2050 or sooner and becoming a signatory to the Paris-Aligned Investment Initiative, Net-Zero Asset Owner Commitment, signals we will continue to allocate capital to sustainable businesses, consistent with out investment objectives."

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