Hackney continues to cut fossil fuels as part of the fight against climate change

Hackney Town Hall

Hackney Council’s Pensions Committee is taking action to move towards a fossil free pension fund as part of its commitment to cut the fund’s exposure to future CO2 emissions.

A review in 2017 looked at the financial risks posed to the pension fund’s fossil fuel investments in light of the Paris Agreement, a global action plan to help limit global warming, and set out a series of targets to reduce the funds investment in fossil fuels.

One of these targets was investing 5% of Fund assets in a sustainable equity fund; the Fund has gone significantly beyond this recommendation, investing 13% (£195m) in RBC GAM’s Sustainable Global Equity Strategy through the London CIV. The Fund has also committed £160m to two new private debt funds, which will also move the Fund away from fossil fuel exposure, and moved £150m away from the carbon intense FTSE AllShare into a low carbon index fund.

The Committee is commissioning a further audit to measure progress against the reduction target later this year and will use the results to help plan its next investment strategy. As well as working to achieve its reduction target, the Committee also hopes to make a positive contribution to the transition to a low carbon economy by including investments in renewable energy and related technologies within its new strategy.

Cllr Robert Chapman, Chair of Pensions Committee
Climate change is probably the greatest threat facing humankind. That’s why the Hackney Pension Fund has committed to cut its exposure to fossil fuel reserves by 50%, reducing the Fund’s exposure to carbon risk and aligning it with the 2 degrees scenario set out in the Paris Agreement. We are taking care to reduce exposure whilst fulfilling our legal fiduciary duty to our scheme members and the taxpayer; as such it will take time to move fully away from fossil fuel investments, though this is our aim for the future. 
Cllr Robert Chapman, Chair of Pensions Committee