Make My Money Matter Launch Event: Pensions with Intention
Gillian Tett – Chair of the Financial Times Editorial Board
Richard Curtis – Founder of Make My Money Matter
Mark Carney – UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance (former Governor of Bank of England)
Helen Dean – Chief Executive Nest
Tanya Steele – Chief Executive WWF UK
Russell Picot – Chair of the Trustee Board HSBC UK Pension Scheme
Make My Money Matter is spearheaded by Richard Curtis the co-founder of Comic Relief and Make Poverty History. It is launching a movement calling for money invested in UK pensions to be used in building a better world – one that puts people and planet alongside profit.
There is an estimated £3.1 trillion invested in UK pensions. Mark Carney believes that finance should serve society. Investment will play a key role in funding sustainable development goals and in achieving net zero carbon. Richard Curtis referred to a statistic that an individual moving their pension to a sustainable and ethical fund is 27 times more effective than giving up flying and meat. Surveys show that 68% of UK savers want their money invested in sustainable and ethical funds. Nest, a non-profit pension trust with 9 million members, reported that 75% of members wanted their money invested responsibly. However, they also discovered that, while over half their members had changed their behaviour in response to the climate crisis, only 5% had taken action on their pension.
There was agreement around the importance of responsible investors working in collaboration to put pressure on the sector as a whole. Make My Money Matter already has a number of pledged partners including BNP Paribas, Triodos Bank, WWF, Oxfam and Ecotricity. Pension fund trustees have a duty to manage risk. Issues such as climate change pose a risk. In the words of Larry Fink (BlackRock Inc CEO) “climate risk is investment risk”. There needs to be transparency and consistency of reporting by financial institutions to allow the public to make informed choices. Governing bodies have a role to play in terms of regulation. So find out from your employer, your financial advisor who benefits from your investment and ask yourself if it’s something you’d want to support. For all you know, you could be investing in fossil fuels, tobacco, weapons or deforestation.