Avon Pension Fund joins 100+ investors, representing over €11 trillion in assets, to call on EU leaders to ensure a sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19 which supports the EU Green Deal & upholds the Paris Agreement.
Climate emergency news
In January we published details of a landmark shareholder resolution co-filed by Brunel Pension Partnership calling on Barclays to set and disclose targets to phase out its financing of fossil fuel companies where they are not aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The outcome of the meeting has been hailed a success with Barclays’ own resolution winning majority support and committing them to becoming net carbon zero by 2050. The shareholder resolution won significant minority support in its own right, prompting the bank to consult with shareholders and explain the views received and actions taken publicly within six months.
The result is a great example of the power of Pooling and highlights now more than ever the value of shareholder engagement as the Fund seeks to deliver on its ambitious climate change objectives.
Further information relating to both resolutions can be found here: https://www.brunelpensionpartnership.org/2020/04/29/from-ambition-to-action-lpgs-investors-ask-barclays-to-firm-up-commitments-on-climate/
Brunel Pension Partnership’s official statement following the outcome of the Barclays AGM can be found here: https://www.brunelpensionpartnership.org/2020/05/07/barclays-climate-resolution-outcome/
We are all witnessing the impact of climate change on our lives and many of our employers have declared climate emergencies in recent months. The current global health crisis underscores the importance of mitigating such risks on a global scale. Climate change, in particular, represents a systemic risk to people, the planet, and to the investment returns which are necessary to enable payment of pensions. The need for action on the climate crisis is more critical now than ever before.
Avon Pension Fund, already recognised as a leader in Responsible Investment, has recently reviewed its investment strategy to support the transition to a greatly reduced carbon economy. The changes we have made will enable us to lower our carbon footprint and invest more capital in renewables, while preserving our ability to guarantee pension payments to beneficiaries.
Brunel Pension Partnership Limited (Brunel) is one of eight national pooled funds and manages the investment of the pension assets for the funds of Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Environment Agency, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. Brunel manages circa £30 billion investments on behalf of these 10 Local Government Pension Scheme funds.
The state of play in the finance sector and our role within it means our focus must be on shaping and influencing the investment system to ensure it is fit for purpose. Our priority is to catalyse change at scale, not only through our own efforts but in partnership with others, and by enabling our Clients to be agents of change in their own right.
The new climate change policy – ‘A five-point plan to build a financial system which is fit for a carbon-zero future’ – builds on insights gained in the course of procuring new asset managers for its 10 LGPS clients.
Institutional investors managing over £130bn including Brunel Pension Partnership, one of Avon Pension Fund’s investment managers, have filed a shareholder resolution at Barclays alongside over 100 individual shareholders. It will be voted on by investors at Barclays’ annual general meeting in May 2020.
This landmark resolution – the first climate change resolution filed at a European bank – requests that Barclays publishes a plan to gradually stop the provision of financial services to companies in the energy sector, and to gas and electric utilities that are not aligned with the goals of the Paris climate agreement.