Net Zero Pensions

Pension Providers and the Path to Net Zero

September 2021

Net zero can broadly be defined as achieving a balance between the Green House Gases (GHG) put into the atmosphere and those which are taken out. The challenge of achieving net zero presents a complex range of issues for pension providers and financial institutions alike. With COP26 coming to Glasgow in November 2021, financial institutions are coming under increasing pressure to commit to net zero targets. Pension providers must therefore accelerate action towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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Net Zero Pensions

Supporting Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) providers to commit to investigating the possibility of taking a net zero approach

As we approach COP26 asset owners across the globe are coming under increasing pressure to commit to Net Zero. Whilst a number of financial institutions have taken a leap of faith and made Net Zero commitments, others are less comfortable to do so as a prerequisite for achieving Net Zero is the ability to measure the position.

The composition of an investment portfolio will determine the availability of, and access to, the appropriate climate data required to conduct full carbon accounting.

Without knowing the baseline starting position, for many, it is difficult to put a timescale on achieving Net Zero. This presents asset owners with two potential risks:

  • Negative publicity received as a result of not making Net Zero commitments
  • Making a Net Zero commitment that cannot be fulfilled

With COP26 coming to Glasgow the Scottish LGPS providers are coming under increasing scrutiny. The Net Zero Pensions workstream therefore deliver a series of policy papers, workshops and events to support LGPS providers to commit to investigating the possibility of taking a net zero approach.

An introduction to the Net Zero Pensions Workstream

100 Days to COP | Net Zero Pensions | Natalie Jackson

Watch GEFI’s Natalie Jackson discuss our Net Zero Pensions work stream, with 100 days to go until COP 26.


Programme of Events

Events at COP26

Tuesday 9th November, Kelvin gallery, University of Glasgow, 12:30-14:00​: Net Zero Pension Summit

  • Barry O’Dwyer (Chief Executive, Royal London), Faith Ward (Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Brunel Pension Partnership)
  • David Russell, Head of Responsible Investment (Universities Superannuation Scheme)
  • Eva Cairns, (Head of Climate Change Strategy, Abrdn)
  • Tim Orton, (Managing Director, Investment Solutions, Aegon UK)

Related Content

Approaches to Net Zero Banking

What are some of the practical steps their organisations are taking to drive and support the transition to net zero?

What is the role that ambitious targets play, and what is the future of the fossil fuel industry in a net zero world?

Watch our Ethical Finance 2021 panel highlight to find out more.