Pension Funds Hold the Key to Unlocking the Potential of Nature and Wildlife

With input from renowned environmentalist Dr. Tony Juniper CBE, author of ‘What Has Nature Ever Done For Us’, life insurance and pensions company Scottish Widows have set out a blueprint to help pension funds and providers deliver more investment into ‘nature-positive assets’.

This refers to the practice of guiding capital flows into projects and companies that help restore nature, while delivering financial returns in the longer term.

To date, global economic growth has led to a dramatic degradation of nature. Since 1990, 420 million hectares of forest have been converted into alternative land use.  75% of terrestrial environments globally are now classed as being “severely altered” by human action. One million animal and plant species now face extinction, risking significant knock-on impacts for both humanity and the global economy.

Controlling nearly US$60 trillion worth of assets globally, pension funds have a major role to play in driving responsible investment into projects that could make or break natural regeneration efforts.

Scottish Widows’ report titled Nature and Biodiversity: The Pensions Imperative – outlines several policy and pension fund recommendations to convene industry action on this issue and enable nature-positive asset allocation throughout the financial services sector.

Maria Nazarova-Doyle, Head of Responsible Investments and Stewardship at Scottish Widows, said: “While overseeing trillions of pounds worth of investments, pension funds play a huge role in the economy: their investment decisions don’t just influence the long-term financial wellbeing of millions of savers, but have the potential to influence the long-term health of nature and the planet too.

“Yet, as we mark two years since the publication of The Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity, the financial services industry has yet to make ample progress on nature action.

“In order for nature-positive pension investments to materialise, pioneers and policymakers must band together, doing more to engage and educate the industry on how to positively reshape portfolios and avert ecological collapse. This isn’t simply a balance-sheet issue – it’s an existential one too.”

#biodiversity #deforestation

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