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The UK’s pension funds should review their $112 billion (£88 billion) worth of investment in equities and bonds of fossil fuel firms, as the funds are not anywhere near on track for aligning their portfolios to the Paris Agreement goals, a new study by UK climate finance campaign Make My Money Matter showed on Wednesday.
The pension funds’ holdings in oil and gas are almost ten times higher in value than the holdings in listed FTSE 350 clean energy stocks, according to the research cited by Bloomberg.
“As a result, we believe that ongoing investments in fossil fuel companies by the UK pensions industry – without a serious, time-bound and co-ordinated escalation in how investors use their stewardship role – represents a ticking time bomb for both our pensions and the planet,” the authors of the report say.
According to Make My Money Matter, $3,816 (£3,000) per pension holder in the UK is invested in fossil fuel companies.
The campaigners at Make My Money Matter call on the UK’s pension funds to engage with the fossil fuel companies to commit to no expansion of oil and gas production—a policy in line with a 1.5 degrees Celsius trajectory.
However, the UK-based supermajors, BP and Shell, have recently doubled down on oil and gas to ensure energy supply after the recent energy and energy security crises.
Shortly after Shell unveiled on June 14 its new strategy to continue investing in oil and gas production and selectively pour capital into renewable energy solutions, the Church Commissioners for England said last week the Church of England was dumping all remaining oil and gas majors from its portfolio for failing to align with the 1.5 degrees Celsius pathway.
The church has less than 1% invested in oil and gas from the endowment fund, while its $4.1 billion (£3.2 billion) pension scheme includes around $8.9 million (£7 million) invested in oil and gas firms, according to Financial Times estimates.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.