Pension Funds Not Engaging in EU Sustainable Finance Policy

The majority of Europe’s biggest pension funds are “not actively engaged” in emerging EU-level sustainable finance policy, according to research by think tank InfluenceMap.  This is a major “potential blind spot” for the industry, InfluenceMap said, with some financial industry associations even pushing back against the EU’s sustainable finance proposals. The analysis, which covers 25 European pension funds with a collective US$3.4 trillion in assets, noted that Norges Bank Investment Management, Pensioenfonds Metaal en Techniek (PMT), Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) are more positive advocates for ambitious sustainable finance policies. The UK’s Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is the most supportive amongst the associations, the report added. Companies including Bayer, Volkswagen, ExxonMobil, Unilever and Shell have also “opposed an ambitious approach” to the EU’s proposed policies on sustainable finance. Paula Castro, InfluenceMap’s Senior Analyst, said: “While some of Europe’s pension funds are clearly trying to take the threat of climate change seriously, most are not actively engaged in emerging sustainable finance policy. This points to a potential blind spot for the industry. It means that industry associations – which often take a more negative approach to policy – are the loudest voices at an EU level.” 

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