General Insurance Article - Government says UK to be first net zero financial centre

Commenting on the Government’s announcement that the UK will be the world’s first net-zero financial centre, Simon Jones, Head of Responsible Investment, Hymans Robertson, says:

 “In the proposals announced today, the UK Government is seeking to make planning for the transition to net zero and the disclosure of those plans a condition of business. Although not initially set to be a mandatory requirement, better and more comprehensive disclosure will allow investors to effectively scrutinise and challenge the plans that organisations have in place. But we need to remember that the challenge is not just one for investors, but for all parts of the economy. Having transition plans will only be effective if there are also clear and strong policy pathways, backed by regulation where necessary that require companies to change. This is what will ultimately drive a reduction in emissions across the real economy.

 “Our own business epitomises this as we announced our intention to be net zero carbon from 2021 at the start of the year, alongside a pledge to halve our 2019/2020 carbon footprint by 2025. That requires us to consider how and where we work as emissions reduction only comes through effecting changes in our working practices and behaviours. Our clients and people expect us to make these changes. More widely in our work, we are helping to drive planning and, more importantly, action towards net zero targets across our pensions and insurance clients. The Government’s ‘Greening Finance’ roadmap published last month, they recognised that the UK’s pensions and investment sectors have an important role to play. Improving disclosure by companies together with the recent proposal for pension funds measure the alignment of portfolios to the Paris Agreement in TCFD reporting both increase the focus that asset owners can and will place on net zero goals.”

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