autumn leaves

New reports bring to light climate liability risks facing pensions advisers

Environmental lawyers have released new research highlighting the legal risks for pension scheme advisers who fail to address climate change in their advice to clients.

ClientEarth’s “Risky Business” series launched today, with two reports aimed at investment consultants and actuaries advising defined benefit (DB) pension schemes.

The reports draw on the Pensions Regulator’s guidance this year, which clarified that DB pensions trustees should assess the materiality of climate change. They also refer to a landmark legal opinion from 2016 stating that if pension trustees find climate change to pose a material risk to the fund, they are then legally bound to manage it accordingly.

But the Risky Business reports go further, detailing for the first time how professional advisers to DB schemes should be addressing climate change and its associated risks when advising their clients.

Lead author and ClientEarth lawyer Daniel Wiseman said: “Finally, we have a consensus that pension fund trustees have legal duties to consider and manage climate change risks. But we still see a gap in the advice they are getting from highly influential advisers, such as scheme actuaries and investment consultants. This is delaying effective action and proper risk management across the sector.

“Climate risk is present throughout the investment chain and so too is the responsibility to monitor and manage it. We hope that greater awareness of these legal duties will help protect professional advisers, trustees and the schemes they serve, from loss and liability arising from climate change risk.”

Read the reports:

Share this...
Share on Facebook! Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn! Email!

Jeremy Thomas

Related articles

More from or

  • aerial view of city and road for story saying Climate litigation blind date brings scientists and lawyers together

    Climate litigation blind date brings scientists and lawyers together

    Lawyers and scientists met in London to discuss climate litigation, the challenges it poses for both disciplines, and how they could work together.

  • upwards view blue sky highrise building

    Spotlight on auditors over climate risk reporting

    Lawyers say auditors must now understand the implications of climate risk and consider how it affects their own work and advice. There are real and increasing legal risks if they don’t.

  • delicate dry twigs against blue background

    “Earth to trustees” – climate risk guidance for pension funds is now available

    Until now, the pension industry has been missing a comprehensive ‘how-to’ for the day-to-day management of climate risk. The PLSA has worked with ClientEarth to publish one.

  • Green conifer for story on five things we learned at the COP23 climate talks

    Five things we learned at the COP23 climate talks

    A few of ClientEarth’s staff went to the UN’s annual international climate conference, known as COP23. This is what we learned…

  • Follow us

    You can help

    Your support helps us use the law to protect your environment.