Pensions Minister declares climate change risk “too important to ignore”

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman has stated that the financial risks of climate change are “too important to ignore” and that the pensions industry help tackle the issue.

Speaking at a conference hosted by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Opperman also noted that pension and investment professionals must “do the right thing”, and honestly consider the ESG impact of their decisions.

Opperman cited the regulations the Government had introduced requiring scheme trustees to clearly set out their ESG and climate change policies as a “ game-changer” and claimed that these have helped “focused minds”.

Opperman told the conference: “The financial risks from climate change are too important to ignore.

“Many pension schemes are doing the right thing by tilting portfolios towards renewables or away from fossil fuels, and by engaging much more forcefully with investment firms who fail to take environmental and social issues seriously. They ought to be thinking about the assets which help drive new investment in important sectors of the economy: smaller and medium firms, housing, green energy projects and other infrastructure which deliver the sustainable employment, communities and environments which all of us wish to enjoy.”

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