WWF and MMMM challenge finance sector to 'urgently' address climate crisis

WWF and Make My Money Matter (MMMM) have called on the finance sector to “urgently” address its role in tackling the climate crisis or “risk being complicit in catastrophic damage to both our planet and the economy”.

The groups argued that the finance sector must "drastically raise" its ambitions for reaching net zero in order to shift focus towards building a “more resilient, low-carbon sustainable future” following the pandemic.

The MMMM campaign in particular, has called for individuals, organisations, government and industry to check that their pensions are working to build a “better, more sustainable planet”.

MMMM co-founder, Richard Curtis, stated: “The future of business and investment is about sustainability.

“It is our money – our savings and pensions – that is creating the world we live in. If your money is invested in fossil fuels and other environmentally damaging practices, these are the industries of the past and you’re going to lose.

“We’re seeing a rise in social movements, particularly within the younger generations, who are using their voices to demand positive action from those in power.

“The finance sector has an enormous chance to drive this change and ensure that people’s pensions are investing in a future worth saving for."

The call for action follows the launch of the groups' film, Our Planet: Too Big to Fail, which was released amid Pensions Awareness Week and called for "urgent, systemic change" across the finance sector.

The campaign also coincides with, and has highlighted, recent research from Nest, which revealed that 70 per cent of their members want ethical pensions, whilst two-thirds would forgo profit in order to ensure their investments are sustainable.

However, Nest CEO, Helen Dean, argued the two aren't mutually exclusive, and that members want their pension to do both.

Furthermore, speaking at the virtual screening of the film, Dean stated that there is a "myth" around fiduciary duty and responsible investing (RI), arguing that fiduciary duty isn’t a barrier to RI, but that "it’s actually quite the opposite, it’s a driver for it".

She continued: "Campaigns like this are really important, raising public awareness of the power of pensions could be incredibly transformational.

"I think what we’re finding is that more and more people want to make a difference, they want to make a difference to the environment and they want to make a difference to society, but they just don’t always realise the difference they could make through their pension.

"If we can get people to start to realise the difference they can make through their pension, and start putting real pressure on the pension provider, I think we’ll start to see a real response from the industry."

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