Nigel Topping and Dr Barbara Weber have joined the £4.6bn London Pension Fund Authority's (LPFA) trustee board as it seeks to strengthen expertise in infrastructure and sustainable investment.
Weber has extensive experience in infrastructure investments, while Topping brings knowledge on environmental, social and governance (ESG) and climate change issues.
Their appointments, which are effective immediately and run until 31 July 2021, follows the LPFA board's recent agreement that all necessary divestments required by their agreed policy should be made by 2020, given the urgency of climate change action.
Weber is the founding partner of infrastructure investment adviser B Capital Partners, and has also previously worked at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and PolyTechnos.
Topping is chief executive officer of We Mean Business, a coalition of organisations that tackle the problems of climate change. He serves on the Energy Transitions Commission and the board of the Grantham Institute, and was also executive director of the Carbon Disclosure Project between 2013 and 2015.
LPFA chairman Sir Merrick Cockell said: "I am delighted to welcome both Nigel and Barbara to the LPFA board. Each brings extensive experience and insight in their respective areas of specialism, and their appointment further enhances the existing breadth and depth of knowledge of our trustee board.
"At a time of unprecedented upheaval and volatility in the pensions and investment landscape, this further strengthening of our board, particularly in the critical areas of infrastructure and sustainable investment, significantly enhances our ability to address the challenges ahead."
The LPFA's policy statement states that where the fund's fiduciary duty allows, it will not consider new active investments in fossil fuel companies directly engaged in the extraction of coal, oil and natural gas as sources of energy which are ignoring the risks of climate change. Also, it will make all reasonable efforts to divest where opportunities for engagement and reform of the company or project are not possible or do not exist, provided this will result in no material financial detriment.
A review of LPFA's investments will be completed by the end of 2017, using analytical tools including the Transition Pathways Initiative, in order to ensure that the level of exposure to climate change risk is evaluated and monitored.
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