The UK’s all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for local authority pension funds has launched an inquiry into the social dimension of decarbonising the economy.
The group and inquiry are sponsored by the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF), with support from its engagement partner PIRC.
The APPG came into being in 2016, when it was described as a forum for local authority pension fund members “to talk to Parliament and the government about making greater use of pension fund money for infrastructure, local growth and housing”.
According to an announcement from the group about the new inquiry, it will focus on the contribution that local authority pension funds and other institutional investors can make towards achieving what is referred to as a “just transition”.
It will also examine how the policies and practices of pension funds can contribute towards a decarbonised, sustainable economy ”in a way that protects beneficiaries and secures the future and livelihoods of workers and their communities”.
According to the statement, the group will set out to recommendations to a range of stakeholders: UN agencies, national, devolved and local government, policymakers, business and investors.
The inquiry’s first evidence session is taking place today, 20 January.
“[T]here has been little focus on what decarbonising our economy means for employees and communities,” said Doug McMurdo, chair of LAPPF.
“This urgently needs to be addressed so that we don’t take two steps forward towards a decarbonised economy via new technology and environmental regulation, but one step back because we have ignored the social dimension of tackling climate change.”
The inquiry will be chaired by member of parliament Clive Betts, who said:
“The move to a decarbonised economy will be felt every constituency across the country. This inquiry provides a timely opportunity to open up a debate with stakeholders and parliament about what this means for communities and workers and how we can manage this transition in a just way.”
LAPFF represents 82 public pension funds and seven pension asset pools with combined assets under management of £300bn (€339bn).