Policy and regulation

Driving the uptake of responsible investment across the UK and globally

Through the frameworks of the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development we have the tools to build a better future. Now we must use them. The UK Government has a crucial opportunity to set the path. As host of the next UN Climate Summit (COP26), it can show the world what true leadership looks like, setting the level of ambition needed to tackle climate change and other global challenges.

But this will not be possible without harnessing the power of the financial sector to drive change. 

 

We are in a critical decade.

Emissions continue to rise, wildlife is disappearing, health issues, such as obesity, are increasing, and the world’s wealthiest 26 people own the same wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion.

We need to urgently address these complex challenges.

Many of these challenges are fuelled by an economic system that is not accountable to society or the environment. Where profits are put above people and planet.

Trusted with the savings of ordinary people the financial sector has a critical role to play. It channels money across the economy. And influences the way companies are run – it has the power to influence the products that are made and sold, the way businesses are powered, and how they treat their workers.

We need to rebalance the system. To evolve our understanding of “best interests” to be more than purely building wealth – and instead focus on building resilience in our interconnected world.

This means all of our financial institutions – not just a handful – taking responsibility for their impact on society and the environment. It is essential that such a system is underpinned by regulation – setting the legal frameworks to drive change in a way that reflects the public interest. To tip the balance in favour of people and planet.

The choices we make today, will define the world into which we, our children and our grandchildren retire.

With the right actions and the right frameworks, we can protect savers, and ensure a future that is fairer, healthier and more sustainable for all.

 

Reports, briefings and consultations 

We provide practical recommendations and guidance to policy makers and regulators on core responsible investment themes across a range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics. 

Consultation submissions

Public consultation is an important stage of the policy making process. Through the consultation process we offer expert advice on a wide range of areas. 

Policy briefings

Our policy briefings tackle a range of responsible investment themes and act as practical guidance for policy makers. 

ShareAction’s research

We survey the world’s largest financial institutions, examine the role of high-carbon sectors, and tackle key responsible investment topics.

Current Work

Responsible Investment Bill

The UK Government has taken important steps to strengthen the laws around pensions and responsible investment; in particular in relation to climate change. But further reforms are needed to address blind spots in our investment system that leave pension savers less protected and less served than they deserve. The decisions made in the investment sector have a powerful impact; it needs to be driving positive change. 

Our Responsible Investment Bill aims encourage investors to think long-term and at a systems-level. The Bill will drive change, and allow the UK to show global leadership on the global challenges we face. 

 

The Pensions Bill

As we look towards COP26, the UK Government – as hosts – have a critical opportunity to show real leadership on addressing the risks and opportunities posed by climate change. The climate crisis poses a huge risk to the UK economy, and we need to raise our ambition and accelerate action. It is a systemic threat, and as such can not be the remit of just one or two Whitehall departments – it must be embedded across the government’s agenda.

The Pension Schemes Bill presents an opportunity to do just that. It offers scope to build a pensions industry that is more able to address the financial risks of climate change, and to be truly aligned with savers’ interests.

The Bill

The Pension Schemes Bill is currently working its way through Parliament. For more on the process and at which stage the Bill is at, visit the UK Parliament website here. 

Bill Briefing

As the Bill reached committee stage we examined the contents of the Bill and what amendments could be add to ensure it worked for people and planet. 

TCFD reporting

The government put forward new reforms for large pensions schemes to show exactly how they are tackling climate change. We hope these reforms will accelerate climate action.

All Party Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Finance

The challenge of reaching net zero and ensuring the UK economy is the home of green investment is no easy task. But is it a huge opportunity for the UK to be a leader, and for our financial sector to be at the heart of this change. Government policies and regulatory frameworks will be needed to motivate the financial sector, secure the investment and build the infrastructure to accelerate the transition. 

To support this process, we joined with UK100 to establish an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sustainable Finance. 

APPG on Sustainable Finance

We’re working to support parliamentarians to understand more about sustainable finance. Find our more about the APPG on the UK100 website. 

What Covid19 means for sustainable finance

In the first event of the APPG we examined the impact of Covid19 on sustainable finance.

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