Pensions polluting as 1.5C target ignored

Written by Lori Campbell on 25th Oct 2021

UK pension funds have invested £128 billion of public money into fossil fuel companies, a new report reveals, as countries are on course to extract more than double the fossil fuels needed to keep the 1.5C target alive. Meanwhile, the UK Treasury’s second green gilts package has raised a further £6 billion for projects assisting the net zero transition, the US plastics industry is on course to release more greenhouse gas emissions than coal-powered electricity generating plants by 2030, and Wealth8 launches a mobile app with ISAs aimed at black and multi-ethnic communities. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief.

Pension funds invest £128bn of your money in fossil fuel companies

UK pension funds have an estimated £128 billion invested in fossil fuels, a new report reveals.

The research by Friends of the Earth suggests the equivalent of £2,000 for each person in the country has been sunk into the polluting industry.

The charity analysed the investments of six of the UK’s largest pension funds, with the average investment in fossil fuels found to be 4.3 per cent.

Rianna Gargiulo of Friends of the Earth said: “With mere days until the UK hosts the UN Climate Change Conference and at a time when public concern about climate change is consistently growing, this report shows that pension funds are desperately lagging behind on climate action.

The Good Guide to Pensions


Countries will extract DOUBLE fossil fuels needed to keep 1.5C target alive

Plans by governments to extract fossil fuels up to 2030 are incompatible with keeping global temperatures to safe levels, says the UN.

The UNEP production gap report finds countries will drill or mine more than double the levels needed to keep the 1.5C threshold alive. Oil and gas recovery is set to rise sharply with only a modest decrease in coal.

There has been little change since the first report was published in 2019. With the COP26 climate talks just days away, there is already a huge focus on the carbon-cutting ambitions of the biggest emitters.

But despite the flurry of net zero emission goals and the increased pledges of many countries, some of the biggest oil, gas and coal producers have not set out plans for the rapid reductions in fossil fuels that scientists say are necessary to limit temperatures in coming years.

What is COP26 and why does it matter?


UK raises £6bn for green projects in second green gilt

The UK Treasury’s second green gilts package has raised £6 billion, bringing total funding for projects assisting the net-zero transition to £16 billion.

The UK launched its first green gilt in September, attracting £90 billion in orders – a figure which surpasses all previous records for debt sales by the UK Government or any of the devolved administrations.

The Government has since confirmed that £10 billion has been raised through the sale. Projects to be financed include zero-emissions buses, offshore wind and schemes to decarbonise homes and buildings.

The second green gilt is a 32-year bond, maturing on 31 July 2053, making it the sovereign green bond with the longest maturity in the world. The first green gilt will mature in June 2032 and July 2033.

Top sustainable investment platforms


US plastics to surpass coal’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

The plastics industry in the United States is on course to release more greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) than coal-powered electricity generating plants by the end of the decade, according to a new report.

The study, by Bennington College’s Beyond Plastics project, found that the American plastics industry is releasing at least 232 million tons of GHG annually, the equivalent to 116 average-sized coal-fired power plants.

The health impacts of the emissions were found to be disproportionately borne by low-income communities and ethnic minorities. Ninety per cent of the plastics industry’s reported climate change pollution takes place in just 18 communities, where residents earn 28 per cent less than the average American household and are 67 per cent more likely to be minority communities.

Top 10 countries doing the most to tackle plastic pollution


Wealth8 launches app with ISAs for black and multi-ethnic communities

Wealth8, the digital wealth management platform aimed at black and multi-ethnic communities, has launched a full-service mobile app.

The service, primarily for minority communities in the UK, will also be made available to Africans living in major economies on the continent such as Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, by next year.

Wealth8 provides access to diversified portfolios of investment products from global fund manager BlackRock. The new app is available now for early access on iOS and Android.

The company hopes the app will help towards its mission to bridge the wealth gap by providing more people with the tools and knowledge needed to save and invest for their future.

What you need to know about: Wealth8

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