Government responds to ‘Pension stewardship and COP26’-report

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The Work and Pensions Committee has published the Department for Work and Pension’s response to its report on the Government’s approach to ensuring pension funds consider the risks posed by climate change and the role schemes can play in meeting emission reduction targets.

The Committee’s report on pension stewardship and COP26 was published in September ahead of the UN conference in Glasgow last month.

The report called on the Government to use the event to try to secure international commitments to work towards the global harmonisation of climate-related reporting standards.

The Committee recommended that a single Minister should be responsible for sharing internationally best practice on investment reporting, and that Government policy should prioritise good pension scheme stewardship over divestment.

The government response does not agree on the recommendation of the single minister, as ‘global best practice on sustainability investment reporting requires co-operation and leadership from a range of stakeholders across countries.’

Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, commented on the response: “The eyes of the world may now have moved on from Glasgow and COP26, but the Government must not let up in its efforts to forge a global consensus on the role pension schemes can play in achieving climate change goals.

“A Minister with a clear responsibility to lead this task would show the Government is serious about sharing best practice internationally, so it is disappointing it does not agree with the Committee.

“What the Government must do now is make sure that all the support and guidance is in place so that pension schemes and their investments can work towards helping to meet emission reduction targets.”

The government response can be found on the UK Parliament website.