Investment - Articles - Support for Government response to ESG consultation

Sackers has reacted with positivity at the approach taken by Government in their response to the consultation ‘Pension trustees: clarifying and strengthening investment duties’.

 Stuart O’Brien, Partner at Sackers, commented: “We welcome the Government’s revised proposals incorporating industry recommendations in this key area. The new regulations provide some helpful clarity around trustee obligations on ESG.

 “Trustees will now need to take time to consider and formulate a policy on how ESG and specifically climate change issues are taken into account in their investment decision making. Trustees have until October 2019 to set this out in their Statement of Investment Principles.

 “We are also pleased to see a nudge in the wording of the regulations towards trustees considering ESG over a time horizon that they consider appropriate to the circumstances of their scheme. Trustees are long-term investors so it is right that ESG should be considered in that context, avoiding tendencies towards short-termism.

 O’Brien added: “We think the DWP have also made the right decision to drop their original consultation proposal which would have required trustees to publish a statement on member’s views on non-financial factors and the extent to which these are taken into account in the scheme’s investment strategy. Such a requirement would have led to further confusion between ethical investing and ESG. We support the efforts to ensure that ESG and climate change issues are seen as financially important and not simply an ethical choice to make.”

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