With COP26 coming to Glasgow in just over two months time, pension providers across the globe are coming under increasing pressure to accelerate action towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and to commit to net zero targets.  

At GEFI we recognise that it is one thing to commit to net zero, but quite another to deliver such an ambitious target. As part of our Path to COP26 campaign, GEFI will be launching a Policy Positioning Paper (the first in a two part series) looking at the current net zero pension landscape and highlighting some of the challenges faced by pensions providers in making net zero commitments (or delivering on commitments already made). 

This event will mark the formal launch of our Pension Providers and the Path to Net Zero Pensions Policy Paper, on Wednesday 29th September 2021 : 2pm – 3pm as part of a virtual meeting on Zoom – CLICK HERE to register.

During the session, GEFI’s lead author Natalie Jackson will present the key takeaways from the Paper before facilitating a discussion between industry experts David Hickey (Lothian Pension Fund) and Eva Cairns (Aberdeen Standard Investments). You can find full speaker bios below. These interventions will be followed by a Q&A session where participants are invited to put their thoughts to our panelists.

AT GEFI, we believe COP26 presents a unique opportunity for pension providers to demonstrate leadership on climate finance and for members of the public to unlock the green power of their pension. In the run up to COP26 and beyond, we want to support pension providers in their net zero journey, and hope you will join us as in this crucial event in the run up to COP.  We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the 29th

Speaker Bios

Natalie Jackson, Executive Manager, GEFI 

Natalie has over 10 years of experience working in finance and is passionate about how finance can be used to deliver social and environmental impact. Her career started at EY in 2010, in the corporate finance department, where she qualified as at Chartered Accountant. She has spent extended periods of time working with social enterprises in Africa and has assisted entrepreneurs in the Global South through the Grow Movement and Kiva. Natalie was one of the finalists in the One Young CA competition and nominated as one of ICAS’s top Accountants under 35 in the field of Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility. She has spent the last 6 years working in project finance with a focus on education, infrastructure and renewable energy projects. Natalie currently sits on the Social Growth Fund Board at Social Investment Scotland, advising on the disbursement of £17m of funding to Scottish Social Enterprises. 


David Hickey, Portfolio Manager and Responsible Investment Lead, Lothian Pension Fund 

David manages Lothian’s European Equity portfolio, which invests in sustainable business franchises based in continental Europe. He also leads the Fund’s work on Responsible Investment (annually assessed by the UN-backed organisation PRI) and ESG integration, which involves developing policy, influencing engagement activity and liaising with external partner organisations and industry bodies. Part of this includes being a lead engager with a utility company as part of Climate Action 100+. David qualified as a Chartered Financial Analyst in 2010, has been involved in managing equity portfolios since 2006 and has worked in the Edinburgh finance industry since graduating in 2002. 


Eva Cairns, Head of Climate Change Strategy, Aberdeen Standard Investments 

Eva is responsible for climate change research and strategy within the ESG Investments team at Aberdeen Standard Investments. That includes climate related research into specific themes (transition solutions such as hydrogen) and for high emitting sectors such as oil & gas, utilities, transportation and agriculture. She also responsible for TCFD reporting in relation to specific asset manager disclosures such as carbon footprinting and climate scenario analysis and integrating climate change into the investment process. In 2020 Eva was a finalist for the ‘Investment analyst of the year’ award presented by Investment Week (women in investments). Eva is actively involved in climate related initiatives such as Climate Action 100+ and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change. She published a white paper on climate change in September 2019 (Investing in a changing climate) as well as ASI’s climate strategy paper (Climate change – our approach for investments) and numerous articles on topics such as net zero pledges, sustainable food production and the inevitable policy response to climate change.