Switching to green pension 21x better than lifestyle changeswritten by Bella Palmer
For those with an average size pension pot of £30,000, up to 19 tonnes of carbon can be saved per year by swapping from a default fund with no sustainability focus, according to a new research
Switching pension investments to a green offering is 21 times more effective at cutting carbon footprints than the combined effects of giving up flying, becoming vegetarian, and swapping to a renewable energy provider, new research has found.
Joint analysis by Make My Money Matter (MMMM), Aviva, and Route2 found savers have pension power in the fight against climate change, describing "greening your pension" as one of the most effective action individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprint.
It is now calling on savers to take up the "21x challenge" - urging their pension providers to go green and commit to delivering net zero emissions.
For those with an average size pension pot of £30,000, up to 19 tonnes of carbon can be saved per year by swapping from a default fund with no sustainability focus, the research said.
Annual savings rise to 64 tonnes for pension pots worth at least £100,000 which is equivalent to nine years of carbon emissions.
The research also said such a move would be 20 times more effective than driving an electric car, 40 times better than switching to a renewable energy provider, and 57 times more effective than adopting a vegan diet.
MMMM co-founder Richard Curtis said there was an urgent need to stop pension investments from undoing all of our hard work without us even knowing.
These findings confirm just how important our money is in the fight against climate change, he added. In fact, our pensions are the most powerful weapon we have to help protect the planet.
We need the entire UK pensions industry to go green - making their default funds more sustainable so all savers can have a pension to be proud of. As individuals, we have a critical role to play in driving this change by showing providers that we want our money invested in a way that does good, not harm and, so that we can retire into a world that isn't on fire, he said.
He said: That's why we are calling on all UK savers to take the 21x challenge and ask their provider to go green in 2021, meaning that their scheme is committed to urgent carbon reduction targets, halving emissions this decade, and actively investing in solutions that help save our planet.
A number of pension providers such as LifeSight, Aegon, Now Pensions and Aviva have already committed to delivering net zero emissions across their portfolios.
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