South African activists are calling the country’s attention to the need for Pension funds to be held accountable for the financial effects of climate change on investments.
Shareholder activists, Just Share and environmental organization, Client Earth say Pensions funds have a legal obligation to savers and they have gone ahead to write more than 50 funds to pay attention to this.
Statistics show that Pension funds oversee about 4.2 trillion rand- that is $300 billion, in retirement investments.
Already, oil companies and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund are responding to climate change through steps ranging from planting forests and divesting from fossil fuels.
South Africa is dependent on coal for almost all of its power generation, and with unemployment at about 27 percent, this complicates the debate about reducing this reliance, should it lead to mine closures and job losses.