UK - The UK's Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has welcomed news from energy giant British Gas stating it is cutting its emissions target by 8%, but is now turning its attention to other sectors of the market in a bid to encourage improved corporate governance.

Tessa Younger, consultancy services manager at PIRC, the corporate engagement group acting on behaf of LAPFF's pension fund members, told IPE news of BG's emissions target cuts - announced today - were positive as it has been engaging with the energy firm for over three years to get some movement on climate change-related issues.

More importantly, PIRC is now actively talking to FTSE350 companies in the oil, gas and transport sectors - turning fresh attention to airlines, bus and train operators - in the hope firms will improve overall corporate governance by striving to reach emissions targets.

"We initially looked at engaging around disclosure and reporting on climate change generally, so the primary goal is not to tackle companies on emission targets," said Younger.

But we did look at Defra targets, and tried to identify companies with long-term R&D programs, so we looked at whether BG at whether they were setting targets. We do not a have a particular target as companies are different from sector to sector, but there are issues within each sector. We are aiming more towards encouraging them to add a target, as BT is the only companies really challenging this issue, by measuring emissions and setting target," added Younger.

While PIRC, on behalf of LAPFF, is not interested specific emissions for companies to meet, it does believe the end goal should be to reduce overall emissions by 80% rather than the 60% previously set by the UK government.

PIRC is working as part of the US-led Investor Network for Climate Research (INCR) to encourage responsible investment and corporate governance on climate change.