The UK’s pensions industry is the third largest in the world. With over £3 trillion invested in it, the decisions it makes shape the nature of our economy and the health of our planet. As we hurtle towards a dangerously warmer world, we need new and effective tactics to protect our planet from climate change. It’s time to turn the spotlight on these power players. It’s time for the Green Light campaign.
Our savings are funding climate change
Our pension funds are betting on ’business as usual’ continuing, even though that would mean devastating climate change. They’re gambling our money on fossil fuel companies and carbon intensive industries. They’re failing to put funds into green investments and to use their shareholder power to call for climate-friendly government policies.
Our money + our planet = our say
But it’s our money, and we’ve got a right to have a say about where it goes. We’ve devised a series of demands for our pension funds if we want to protect our planet and secure a low carbon future. They must:
Disclose how much of our money is invested in fossil fuels and carbon intensive industries. How exposed are our savings to the financial risks of climate change? And what are they going to do about it?
Divert investment into green investments (e.g. energy efficiency, green infrastructure, renewables, waste management). This will fund the transition to a greener, stable future, providing sustainable jobs in the process.
Disrupt fossil fuel companies’ plans to explore and develop new sources of carbon. If global governments act to impose a worldwide limit on carbon emissions, these projects will swing quickly from profit to loss. And even if there is no global deal to cap emissions, these projects will only increase the emissions in our atmosphere, hurtling us into a future ravaged by climate change.
Divest from companies that only produce coal. These companies (sometimes called ‘pure play coal companies’) are risky investments financially and environmentally. Demand for coal is expected to drop in the future because of environmental regulations, competition from cheaper gas and renewable energies, and improvements in energy efficiency. This, combined with coal’s high emissions, should make our pension funds think twice about funding it.
Demand political action against climate change. Pension funds must use their power as major UK investors to demand action by government. Without the right legal and regulatory framework in place, we won’t achieve the systemic change we need.
For further information about our demands and the campaign in general, download our guide: The Green Light Campaign: using pension power to protect our planet.
We want our savings to fund a greener, fairer future! We don’t want our money to fund climate change!
Got questions? Click here to read our FAQs.
Who are we?
ShareAction is a not-for-profit campaigning organisation that focuses on the pensions industry. We encourage pension funds to rethink their investment decisions in the light of social and environmental issues, and to use their power as major shareholders to improve company behaviour and call for policy change. We want companies to be held accountable to their real owners – the people who pay into a pension fund or an ISA – and for pension funds to tell us how they’re using our money. Since our inception in 2005, we’ve run successful campaigns on a wide range issues using this effective tactic, including tar sands, the Living Wage, and Arctic drilling.
Click here to find out more about our campaigning work.
The Green Light campaign is supported by: Campaign Against Climate Change, Carbon Tracker Initiative, Christian Aid, Climate Bonds Initiative, Compass, ECCR, Ekklesia, Friends of the Earth UK, Greenpeace UK, Meteos, Move Your Money UK, Oxfam GB, People & Planet, Platform, Push Your Parents, Tellus Mater, TSSA, Unison, Unite, UCU and WWF UK.
If you would like to become part of the campaign, whether you’re an interested pension saver or part of an organisation, email our Outreach Officer Jo Beardsmore on email@example.com or call him on 020 7183 2358.