99.5% of UK population unaware of pension’s carbon emissionswritten by Bella Palmer
More than 84 per cent of people are concerned about climate change and 69 per cent are worried that their company pension could be investing in businesses that contribute to climate change
According to research from Cushon, a staggering 99.5 per cent of the population have no idea about the scale of carbon emitted as a result of their pension’s investments.
When coupled with the fact that each average UK pension pot finances the CO2 equivalent of nine family cars, this lack of awareness is a national scandal, says the company.
And it’s not because they don’t care, people just don’t know the extent of the problem.
The research found that more than 84 per cent of people are concerned about climate change and 69 per cent are specifically worried that their company pension could be investing in businesses that contribute to climate change.
In 1995, the average carbon emissions per capita in the UK were 9.3 tonnes. Over the last 25 years this output has come down to 5.9 tonnes, yet the way pension pots are invested remains relatively unchanged and finances nearly four times the personal emissions. Choosing to use a climate-friendly pension is minimal effort and saves the CO2 equivalent of 27 years’ of recycling each year.
Climate change and savings habits are interconnected, and there is considerable role for the pension sector. On an average, each pension pot in the UK finances 23 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year through its investments.
Responding to this issue, Cushon recently launched a world first Net Zero Now pension. In doing so, their members are actively contributing towards slowing climate change.
Responding to the Cushon research, Baroness Ros Altmann CBE, former UK Pension Minister, says: It is about time we put people's pension savings to good use in the battle to protect our planet and knowing their money can help long term sustainability will encourage more people to feel proud of their pensions.
Ben Pollard, Founder & CEO, Cushon, says: Anyone who recycles is concerned about the world we live in and protecting it for future generations. It’s a complete no-brainer and the lack of awareness of the impact is a national scandal. Saving for retirement in a way that is climate friendly and helps create a better world to retire into should be as second-nature as recycling our newspapers has become.
He says that it’s critical that we take immediate action and address this now. Every year that we continue to contribute to global warming, the prospects of eradicating it are greatly reduced. We can’t afford to stand still and taking more responsibility for how our money is invested is a simple step but a giant leap forward.
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