Race to Net Zero campaign gains huge support from UK pensions

9th June 2022


The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed that the vast majority of its members in the pensions and long-term savings industry are now part of the UN's Race to Net Zero campaign.

Among the market share represented by members, almost 90% in the long-term savings sector have now signed up to the campaign – committing to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest – along with over 50% in the general insurance market.

The findings, presented at the ABI's Climate Change summit on Wednesday, also show that 94% of members that have not already joined are considering doing so.

To accelerate action, the trade association has updated its Climate Change Roadmap, and published guidance on greener supply chains.

In a message recorded for the summit, the Prince of Wales said: “The insurance industry has a fundamental role to play through its understanding of physical and transition risks, and its ability to provide a financial safety net to empower brave climate action and innovation.

“The power of greener pensions is also now better understood. I can only call on every individual and every firm in this sector to take action in the areas set out in the ABI’s own excellent roadmap.”

The ABI has also today set out five “urgent” requests for the government to help the sector play a more prominent role in the net-zero transition. These include:

  • Publish a strategy for delivering the required investment in reducing carbon emissions in homes and commercial buildings
  • Improve the planning system to ensure Net Zero alignment, including by reducing development in high flood risk areas and ensuring new homes are resilient to climate risk
  • Ensure all sectors produce consistent and quality data on carbon emissions
  • Put the protection of the natural environment and ecosystems into climate change policies
  • Meaningful reform of the Solvency II regulatory framework to unlock significant investment in green infrastructure, and bring investors into the heart of the decision-making process on infrastructure and technology development.

Andy Briggs, chair of the ABI board climate change committee, said that there is “no time to spare” in making the changes needed to unlock the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to drive investment which can cut emissions and deliver growth across the country.

He continued: “Meaningful reform to investment frameworks and the regulatory regime, including Solvency II, is essential if our sector is to turbocharge investment in the green infrastructure that we urgently need.

“If we can get those structures in place – supported by better planning systems, transparent data, and clearer climate change policies – we can put our foot even harder on the throttle.”

Image credit: iStock

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