Time for pensions to stand strong on green issues

Rishi Sunak has signalled the government could delay or even abandon green policies that impose a direct cost on consumers, as he comes under pressure from the Conservative right to create a dividing line with Labour at the next election.

The prime minister said the drive to reach the UK’s net zero targets should not “unnecessarily give people more hassle and more costs in their lives” as he rethinks his green agenda after last week’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip byelection.

When “pensions” signed up to TCFD and the promotion of a green agenda, it did so on the understanding that we put the planet ahead of short term considerations. We knew that there would be a cost to ESG and we said we were prepared to pay it.

We now expect the same from those who asked us to make commitments, commitments we intend to keep.

Reading the statements of both Labour and Conservative parties following the Uxbridge by-election, I’m thinking that we are being betrayed by politicians who are more concerned about keeping their back benchers and activists happy, than meeting pledges on climate change.

I know that ULEZ is principally billed as a means to keep the air that Londoners breathe clean, but cutting emissions from cars is one important part in reducing UK emissions and helping reduce global emissions. I suspected that the rot was setting in the morning after the Uxbridge by-election and yesterday’s antics from our Prime Minister confirmed my worst fears.

We cannot have politicians making statements at COP summits and then pandering to people’s pockets in the run up to an election. Saving the planet means everyone changing lifestyles and that includes people who are finding it tough right now paying mortgages, shopping energy bills and saving for their retirement. Taxes on our income have to go up to pay for the just transition we have committed to.

Putting your plastics in the right bin is a start, but putting your pay in the right pension pot matters more, paying your taxes and ensuring Government meets our targets on emissions matters most.

Some in pensions commit their career to it, others support where they can, we are all working towards a common goal. I am a follower not a leader but I can see the alternative to the green agenda each time I access news coverage. This is not what I or my family want

There is no way around this, the Government may feel it can win votes by abandoning aspects of its green agenda in winning a few seats , it will lose its integrity , what little remains. We support the Government because of that little bit of integrity that remains. The rest is anarchy.

A Government that succeeds at the next election by reversing green taxes to gain votes is a Government I cannot support. That is a red line for me and I am sure that many like me, who have been convinced that we can make our money matter, will stand firm.

There can be no withdrawal from the green agenda in pensions or in Government policy.


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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1 Response to Time for pensions to stand strong on green issues

  1. Con Keating says:

    John Crace’s column in today’s Guardian is worth reading on this. Among other things he points out “The message Labour took from Uxbridge was that maybe Sadiq Khan would like to rethink his Ulez scheme with a general election due in less than 18 months. When it should have maybe pointed out during the byelection campaign itself that the clean air scheme had actually been introduced by the Tories. And that the then transport secretary, Grant Shapps, had written to Khan to enforce it. Instead, Labour had tried to disown it entirely, hoping voters would ignore it.”

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