Responding to Climate Change

Posted by: Pensions Team on 23 January 2024 14:49

Tyne and Wear Pension Fund hits first climate target two years early.

The Wear Pension Fund has achieved the first of its interim carbon emissions reduction targets two years ahead of schedule.

As part of the Net Zero "2050 or sooner" commitment set out in its Climate Change Policy in 2021, the Fund also set out ambitious interim targets to reduce carbon emissions across the whole investment portfolio by 30%-35% by 2025 and 50%-60% by 2030. The 2023 carbon footprint set to be published by the Fund in its recent TCFD Report show that emissions* have reduced by almost 40% from the 2019 baseline. This surpasses the 2025 interim target two years early.

This is the second piece of good news for the Fund in its commitment to being a responsible investment, having recently been confirmed as a signatory to the Financial Reporting Council's Stewardship Code.  This Code is considered to be a high level of certification of an investor acting in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Being a responsible investor is of great importance to the Fund, with a particular focus on climate change.  The ongoing actions of the Fund demonstrates its commitment to addressing climate change and playing its part in reducing carbon emissions and supporting climate solutions as they evolve. This includes a major commitment to implementing a lower carbon approach across the Fund's investments to support the targets set by the UK Government and many other countries to achieve the aims of the Paris Agreement to limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.  This has been reinforced by substantial commitments to renewable energy and other climate solutions in recent years.

Recently members of the Pensions Committee and Local Pension Board made a site visit to inspect one of its investments in a fleet of ships designed to bring operational support to Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

The first of the highly specialised hybrid marine vessels - the Grampian Tyne - is already moored at the Port of Tyne. It will be joined by a further three sister ships in the coming years and play a vital role in the Dogger Bank project by transporting engineers and technicians to the site and facilitating the smooth running of operations.

The fleet is owned by North Star - the UK's leading offshore infrastructure support services vessel operator.  The Pension Fund invested in North Star through its allocation to Partners Group's private infrastructure programs.

Cllr Anne Walsh, Chair of the Pensions Committee for the Tyne and Wear Pension Fund, said: "The Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the world's largest offshore wind farm when complete. It will generate around five per cent of the UK's electricity demand - enough to power 6 million homes with renewable energy - so it's very exciting to be playing a part in funding this.

"The investment in North Star will not only helps us to achieve the investment returns we need for our members' pensions, it is also further evidence of the Fund's transition to investing in renewable energy."

TWPF investment team and pensions committee
Members of the TWPF investment team and pensions committee

Last modified: 24 January 2024 14:40