Local government pension fund and ‘net zero’

by Simon Bond

The investment managers of the council’s pension fund have announced a commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The pension fund is part of the Berkshire Local Government Pension Fund. The investment managers also look after Lancashire Pension Fund and the London Pension Fund Authority. This means their commitment covers a pool of investments totaling around £20bn – no mean sum.

We all know that a just transition to net zero is challenging and everyone needs to play their part, individuals, communities, businesses and other organisations, and government.

As one of the councillors on the pension committee, I can appreciate the amount of work that has gone into getting to this point and I’m really pleased this commitment was made ahead of CoP26 in Glasgow in November.

I’ve been pressing the council to raise the profile of this work and I’m pleased to say they have seen the light. From December 2021 each meeting of its Pension Committee will now include what they call a ‘Responsible Investment Update’. 

For anyone interested in more detail, the commitment made is to:  

  • Set net zero targets and measures and reporting on progress towards portfolio decarbonisation 
  • Set an interim target for 2030 for the decarbonisation of the initial assets in scope 
  • Seek to progressively increase the share of assets in scope, with a view to reaching 100% by 2050 
  • A stewardship and engagement programme, which encourages investee companies to set and disclose robust net zero targets 
  • Advocacy for public policy supportive of net zero as a global outcome.
Local government pension fund and ‘net zero’

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