Pension boost for low-carbon economy

The low-carbon economy is to receive a major investment boost thanks to a decision made by the Oxfordshire Pension Fund Committee.

Committee members have decided to switch around £135m - 5% of the fund’s total assets - into a low-carbon investment fund by the end of this month.

The committee, which is responsible for investing the £2.7bn of pension assets on behalf of the 200+ employers within the Oxfordshire Local Government Pension Fund has also agreed its first Climate Change Policy as the basis for consultation with all stakeholders.

Cllr Kevin Bulmer (pictured above), Pension Fund Committee Chairman, said: “This is a massive investment in the low-carbon economy and one which will help to meet targets set in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“The climate change policy was developed by a group which included representatives of the committee, members of the pension fund and Fossil Free Oxfordshire.

“Working with Fossil Free Oxfordshire is a very positive step and a very different approach to that seen across most of the rest of the country where similar campaigning groups are often marginalised.

This is only the start as we have also asked officers to work with the Brunel Pension Partnership to identify further investment in sustainable funds.

The key element of the new policy is to ensure that the Pension Fund is invested in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The investment portfolios should therefore be consistent with net zero carbon emissions by 2050,.

The committee has asked officers to draw up an implementation plan to deliver the policy to include developing an appropriate set of measures against which targets can be set and progress assessed.