UK parliamentary committee admits error on climate change assessment
The UK parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has rowed back on its initial assessment of pension funds’ investment attitudes towards climate change risk following an administrative blunder that failed to fully take account of the submission by Lloyds Banking Group’s pension scheme trustees.
The EAC, a committee of politicians and effectively the parliament’s green watchdog, published its findings last week. It deemed six of the UK’s 25 largest pension funds to be “less engaged” with environmental risks – or not having “formally considered climate change as a strategic risk”, according to the committee.
However, over the weekend the EAC admitted that, due to an “administrative error”, the assessment of the response from the Lloyds and HBOS schemes’ trustee board had been “based on an incomplete version”.
Last week, Lloyds had asked that “the EAC publishes our full response to its request for information, rather than the covering letter, which is currently all that is available on its website”.
With the exclusion of Lloyds and HBOS, an updated version of the list of “less engaged” now includes the £32bn (€36.7bn) Electricity Pensions Trustee (EPT), the £25bn BP Pension Fund (BPPF), the £15bn Aviva Staff Pension Scheme and the £12bn Ford Pension Fund.
The EAC said a revised assessment was likely to be made over the next few days, including a further publication of its findings.
Aviva and Lloyds declined to make any further comment, as did a spokesperson for Mary Creagh, chair of the EAC.
Ford, BPPF and EPT did not respond to requests for comment.