Research and campaign groups Positive Money and ShareAction have today written to the chair of the Bank of England Pension Scheme seeking answers on what steps the central bank’s pension fund has taken to address climate risk.

In a joint letter addressed to John Footman, Chair of Trustees for the Bank of England Pension Scheme, Positive Money’s executive director, Fran Boait and ShareAction’s Lauren Peacock put forward a number of questions scrutinising the Scheme’s efforts to implement recommendations made by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

The Bank of England is a founding signatory to the TCFD, which recommends that organisations disclose information about their management of climate risk through governance, strategy, metrics and targets. However, it is as yet unclear whether the Bank of England has adopted these recommendations for its own operations, including its pension scheme.

Climate risk refers to the financial risk of investing money in fossil fuel companies and projects which could prove uneconomical in the long term due to legislation to reduce carbon emissions.

Positive Money and ShareAction’s letter asks for the pension scheme to provide answers to the following questions:

  • Which climate-related financial risks are you most concerned about?
  • Has the scheme formally considered climate change risk at Board level?
  • Does the board and its subcommittees have clear responsibilities for managing the financial risks from climate change?
  • If you have considered climate change related risks, what action have you taken to identify, measure, monitor, manage, and report on the scheme’s exposure to these risks?
  • Are you planning to adopt the TCFD recommendations in the fund’s reporting? If so, please indicate your planned timing?
  • Have you consulted scheme members’ views on climate change?

Fran Boait, executive director of Positive Money said: “The Bank of England has rightly recognised the existential threat that climate change poses to the financial system, and advises that financial firms disclose their efforts to address these risks. But astoundingly, these recommendations have not yet been adopted by the Bank itself.

“The central bank needs to put its money where its mouth is and show leadership to the rest of Britain’s financial system. Hardwiring sustainability into all of its operations, including its pension scheme, is the least it can do.”

Lauren Peacock, Senior Campaigns Officer at ShareAction said: “Our central bank is in no short supply of lessons on the future impacts of climate change on our finance, lessons which have not gone unheard. The danger lies when the Bank’s words are not backed up by meaningful transparency and action to protect our environment and the economy is serves. We’d be delighted to work with the Bank to get its own house in order”.

Notes to editors:

  • For more information, please contact Beau O’Sullivan at beau.osullivan@shareaction.org or Simon Youel at simon.youel@positivemoney.org.uk
  • A full copy of the letter can be viewed here.
  • About ShareAction: ShareAction is a charity whose mission is to unleash the positive potential of the mainstream investment system. We work across policy and research and run a number of campaigns to encourage investors to engage with companies on issues such as climate, good work and health. A responsible approach to investment recognises that long-term prosperity requires a move away from short-term profit as the only definition of value.
  • About Positive Money: Positive Money campaigns for a money and banking system which supports a fair, democratic and sustainable economy. Set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Positive Money is a not-for-profit company funded by charitable trusts and foundations, as well as small donations from its network of over 65,000 supporters.