I was really pleased to see that there was a quite a few UNISON LGPS member nominated reps present.
The morning was a training session on the implications of Climate Change on Investment returns and for our Beneficiaries. Bearing in mind the very unusal weather we have been having this winter, this is a very topical subject.
Our meeting was opened by our Joint Chair Barry Parr who introduced Catherine Howarth. (see picture) who is a former pension trustee and the CEO of ShareAction (use to be called "Fair Pensions").
Catherine believes that Trust schemes have clear duties to take Climate Change seriously but with Contract schemes it is less clear legally but still a compelling reason to act.
She spoke about the Greenlight report launched recently with Pension Minister Steve Webb MP. There is a need to "nudge" pension schemes into managing the growing risk of climate change. There are a number of good schemes that are addressing this but many others who clearly "don't get it".
One sign of a good scheme is how well it communicates with its members. Schemes needs to organise relevant training, look at governance policy development and carry out risk assessments. Need to look at low carbon investment opportunities and take into account that Auto-enrolment will bring in many young people into pension schemes, who will bear all the investment risk of climate change in the coming decades.
Next was a speaker from PRI then climate change expert Meg Brown.