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Press release: 11 June 2020
The UK public thinks pension funds should disclose information on how much of savers’ money they invest in fossil fuel companies, a new poll commissioned by environmental law charity ClientEarth has found.
More than half of UK adults (52 per cent) said they thought pension funds should make the move, with only 15 per cent opposed.
The YouGov poll comes as ClientEarth launches a new initiative to help savers connect with their pension scheme and challenge them over their legal duties on climate change.
ClientEarth lawyer Joanne Etherton said: “Our pensions are funding the climate crisis, but they can be part of the solution. People want more transparency and pension funds have clear legal duties around planning for, and disclosing, climate risk that many are not living up to.
“There are practical steps people can take to demand pension schemes do more to fulfil their legal obligations and create change which will protect their future savings and the health of the planet.
“The pandemic we’re living through shows what a deep and lasting effect a risk can have on an economy when it becomes a reality. The economy we rebuild after this crisis must be more resilient and sustainable and our most urgent task is tackling climate risk.”
She added: “UK pension funds manage trillions of pounds and are a vital part of our economic system. But, by failing to act strategically on systemic climate risks our pension funds are turning a blind eye to the devastation which climate change could cause to our personal savings and the economic, social and environmental systems on which we all depend.
“Pension scheme members, which means most of us, can hold pension schemes to account and make sure they are taking action to manage these risks and reduce the worst impacts of climate change as well as accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy.”
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,709 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd – 3rd June 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
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ClientEarth is a charity that uses the power of the law to protect people and the planet. We are international lawyers finding practical solutions for the world’s biggest environmental challenges. We are fighting climate change, protecting oceans and wildlife, making forest governance stronger, greening energy, making business more responsible and pushing for government transparency. We believe the law is a tool for positive change. From our offices in London, Brussels, Warsaw, Berlin and Beijing, we work on laws throughout their lifetime, from the earliest stages to implementation. And when those laws are broken, we go to court to enforce them.