Pension funds

Pension Funds are intermediaries for asset owners who are aiming to make stable, long-term returns. Funds can operate nationally or may be associated with particular corporations or public-sector organizations. They are highly regulated.

Responding entities tracked


Criteria

Responding Pension funds Tracked

Institutions by number

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Institutions that are joining the “Paris race,” by making a commitment to any level of action under any of the three dimensions (Targets, Integration, Flows). Depending on which Criteria is selected, this trend shows the number of institutions or the total assets they represent (USD billion).

How many institutions are joining the “Paris race”, by making a commitment to any level of action under any of the three dimensions. Depending on which is selected, this trend shows the number of institutions or the total assets they represent (USD billion).

Pension funds steadily increased their Paris responses, rising from only 2 reporting institutions in 2015 to 70 in 2020, with 2017 the year of largest growth. Integration is the dimension most widely reported, and pension funds’ integration measures just lag behind targets in average score. Only around one-tenth of the reporting funds disclosed their portfolio alignment.

Owing to difficulty tracking assets of individual pension funds at the company and local level, these institutions could be linked to only USD 750 billion in assets, compared to a total UK pensions universe of over USD 2 trillion.

Trends By Dimension


Criteria

Targets

Distribution

Institutions by number

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Distribution of integration scores for the selected institution category. Gradations in each bar represent different levels of response (ranging 0-100 from “Initial response” to “Advanced response”). The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Distribution of targets scores for the selected institution category. Gradations in each bar represent different levels of response (ranging 0-100 from “Initial response” to “Advanced response”). The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Reliability

Target drivers

*based on average nr or AUM of reporting entities in the last 5 years

AVERAGE SCORE

Avg by number of institutions

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The green line indicates the average integration score (0-100 from “Initial response” to “Advanced response”) for the selected institution category. The average across institutions can be calculated as simple average of scores or weighted by the assets of covered entities. The dotted line indicates the score of the single institution emerging as the category’s “early leader.”

The green line indicates the average targets score (0-100 from “Initial response” to “Advanced response”) for the selected institution category. The average across institutions can be calculated as simple average of scores or weighted by the assets of covered entities. The dotted line indicates the score of the single institution emerging as the category’s “early leader.”

Reliability

Target drivers

*based on average nr or AUM of reporting entities in the last 5 years

Action at the strategic level has been reported by 40 funds, representing more than USD 400 billion in assets. Most action has taken place in recent years: only 9 reported in 2018. A majority have shown only initial responses (scores below 30), and none have scored above 50.

Compared to an average score of 30, early leaders in the group have developed a more mature response in the last couple of years. The Environment Agency Pension Fund leads the group with a score of 50, followed by several institutions at 42. Alongside raising awareness and commitments to engage with governments and industry, 6 institutions have set climate change considerations into their strategies.

Integration

Distribution

Institutions by number

Chart Bar

Distribution of integration scores for the selected institution category. Gradations in each bar represent different levels of response (ranging 0-100 from “Initial response” to “Advanced response”). The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Distribution of targets scores for the selected institution category. Gradations in each bar represent different levels of response (ranging 0-100 from “Initial response” to “Advanced response”). The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Reliability

Integration drivers

*based on average nr or AUM of reporting entities in the last 5 years

AVERAGE SCORE

Avg by number of institutions

Chart Bar

The green line indicates the average integration score (0-100 from “Initial response” to “Advanced response”) for the selected institution category. The average across institutions can be calculated as simple average of scores or weighted by the assets of covered entities. The dotted line indicates the score of the single institution emerging as the category’s “early leader.”

The green line indicates the average targets score (0-100 from “Initial response” to “Advanced response”) for the selected institution category. The average across institutions can be calculated as simple average of scores or weighted by the assets of covered entities. The dotted line indicates the score of the single institution emerging as the category’s “early leader.”

Reliability

Integration drivers

*based on average nr or AUM of reporting entities in the last 5 years

More pension funds (50) have responded on integration measures than on targets. After a leap to 29 in 2016, the number has steadily risen. These institutions represent almost USD 700 billion in assets.

Responses are very mixed. 85% are at the initial response stage, with scores below 30 (a share that reduces to 70% when weighted by assets). However, eight institutions have responses scoring above 50. These leading institutions account for over 20% of assets.

Early leaders in the group are setting even higher standards for their peers. The Pension Protection Fund is leading with a score of 65, closely followed by the Brunel Pension Partnership with 63. The measure with most uptake among pension funds is disclosure of climate risks, followed by shareholder engagement, reflecting recent frameworks developed to promote action (while noting activity more recent than 2020 will not be captured). Out of 25 pension funds committed to engaging with clients or shareholders, 6 have been positively assessed for their activism. Leaders have also adopted climate scenario tools, incentives for staff, and due diligence of climate risks.

Flows

INVESTMENT TRENDS

USDm *2019-2020 data is incomplete

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Bars show the volume of transactions in primary low-carbon and climate-resilient investments, and green bond issuances. Figures are always expressed in USD million.

Sources: BNEF, CBI, CPI, NAZCA, RAN

Reliability

Flows drivers

*based on average nr or AUM of reporting entities in the last 5 years

PORTFOLIO ALIGNMENT

Institutions by number

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Distribution of institutions based on the assessment of the share of their investment portfolios exposed to climate-critical sectors as either aligned or misaligned with Paris goals. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: FFD, FinanceMap, TPI

Reliability

Flows drivers

*based on average nr or AUM of reporting entities in the last 5 years

Strategic and decision-making measures are yet to have an impact on investments, judging by portfolio alignment. Only 19 pension funds reported in 2020 on portfolio alignment. Of those, only one, the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, is currently aligned with Paris goals. Owing to pension funds’ distance from investments into assets on the ground, no low-carbon investment flows were tracked.

TRENDS BY INDICATORS


Targets indicators


Awareness of climate change

awareness of climate change

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have announced a clear commitment to addressing climate change through their activities, thereby raising awareness for action on climate risks or goals. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: PRI, TPI or activity tracked under other indicators (adoption of mitigation targets, investment and divestment goals, activity to influence actors in the system).

Reliability

Adoption of quantified mitigation targets

Adoption of quantified mitigation targets

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have set clear targets for climate action (primarily reducing their emissions), whether those are quantitative targets or general, and whether they are disclosed transparently. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: SBTi, ERI, NAZCA, WMB, TPI, NZAOA, PRB

Reliability

Mitigation targets by type

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have set a target, by type of target adopted. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: SBTi, NAZCA

Reliability

Adoption of investment goals

ADOPTION OF INVESTMENT GOALS

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have set and disclosed clear, accountable and measurable targets to provide a volume of financial services and investments for climate action. The distribution can be based on the institutions by number or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: WRI

Reliability

AGGREGATE INVESTMENT GOALS

USDm

Chart - How to read

Bars show the cumulative volume of investments that institutions have committed to in goals at the organizational level. Figures are always expressed in USD millions.

Sources: WRI

Reliability

Adoption of divestment goals

Adoption of divestment goals

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have announced a clear target to divest from fossil fuels, with a clearly defined scope. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: DivestInvest, FFD

Reliability

Adoption of institutional strategy on climate change

Adoption of institutional strategy on climate change

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have set an institution-level strategy to incorporate climate change risks and opportunities, including investment or decarbonization plans. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: PDC, PRI, TPI, CAFI, PRB

Reliability

Influencing actors in the system

Influencing actors in the system

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that are engaging with government and industry on climate change. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: InfluenceMap, World Economic Forum / Mission Possible, BEI, IA, SAS, PSI, PRI, NZAOA, WMB, TPI

Reliability

Integration indicators


Disclosure of climate risks

Disclosure of climate risks

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have committed to the disclosure of climate risks and, if so, whether the level of disclosure has been assessed and can be considered sufficient. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: AODP, PRI, TCFD, CA 100+, WMB

Reliability

Emissions reporting

Emissions reporting

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have committed to disclose their emissions, and whether there is evidence that emissions are already been tracked internally. Emissions that are verified or cover the full range of activities (scope 1, 2, and 3) are here considered of higher quality. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: TPI, PCAF, PRI

Reliability

Climate progress reporting

Climate progress reporting

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that are committing to provide, or providing regular updates on measures implemented, and actions taken.

Distribution can be based alternatively on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USDbn).

Sources: SSEI, CAFI, PSI, WRI, PRB, NZAOA, WMB, PRI

Reliability

Carbon price

CARBON PRICE

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have committed to an internal carbon price to inform their decision making, have already adopted one, or transparently disclosed one to the public. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: CDP, CPLC, TPI, WMB, NAZCA

Reliability

CARBON PRICE RANGE ADOPTED

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that adopted and disclosed a carbon price, by actual carbon price range. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion), while the carbon price range is expressed in USD/tCO2.

Sources: CDP

Reliability

Climate scenario tools

Climate scenario tools

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that integrated temperature and climate scenario tools to support decision making, and the level of sophistication of the scenario used. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: PRI, TPI

Reliability

Climate risk due diligence

Climate risk due diligence

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have adopted internal climate risk due diligence and related procedures, distinguishing between organizations that so far committed to do so and those that have already put measures in place, and the degree at which they are integrated across the operational and strategic levels of the organization. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: PRI, TPI, CAFI

Reliability

Climate-related accountability

Climate-related accountability

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have adopted measures for climate accountability, looking at the extent of accountability and incentives for chief and operations-level staff, and at the existence of dedicated staff responsible for coordinating climate action. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: PRI, TPI, SSEI

Reliability

Shareholder / client engagement

Shareholder / client engagement

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions that have committed to engaging shareholders or clients on climate action, or that are taking the necessary steps by mandating climate reporting requirements or through active ownership. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: PRI, PRB, SSEI, 2Di FM, CA 100+

Reliability

Flows indicators


Investment trends

Investment trends

USDm *2019-2020 data is incomplete

Chart - How to read

Bars show the volume of transactions in primary low-carbon and climate-resilient investments, and green bond issuances. Figures are always expressed in USD million.

Sources: BNEF, CBI, CPI, NAZCA, RAN

Reliability

Portfolio alignment

PORTFOLIO ALIGNMENT

Institutions by number

Chart - How to read

Distribution of institutions based on the assessment of the share of their investment portfolios exposed to climate-critical activities as either aligned or misaligned with Paris goals. The distribution can be based on the number of institutions or their underlying assets (USD billion).

Sources: FFD, FinanceMap, TPI

Reliability

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