Monday 3 June 2019 1:49 pm

Invest in green energy, urges minister, as financial risks of climate change 'too important to ignore'

Pensions minister Guy Opperman has urged fund managers to “do the right thing” and put money into renewables.

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Speaking in London, he said pension and investment managers must take their environmental responsibilities seriously to help fight global warming.

Opperman said: “The financial risks from climate change are too important to ignore.”

“Many pension schemes are doing the right thing by tilting portfolios towards renewables or away from fossil fuels, and by engaging much more forcefully with investment firms who fail to take environmental and social issues seriously.”

Last year, the Department for Work and Pensions introduced regulations forcing pension scheme trustees to set out climate change policies. Opperman today called them “a game-changer”.

Companies can raise their environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards by investing in green energy and infrastructure, he added.

“Pension schemes can identify investment opportunities which will make market-beating returns for members as we move to a low-carbon economy.

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“They ought to be thinking about the assets which help drive new investment in important sectors of the economy: smaller and medium firms, housing, green energy projects and other infrastructure which deliver the sustainable employment, communities and environments which all of us wish to enjoy.”