The UK Asset Owner Roundtable is convening a meeting of major fund managers following concerns about a perceived misalignment between investors’ long-term interests and how investment managers are exercising proxy voting at the annual meetings of oil and gas firms.
The investor group - whose membership includes asset owners such as the Brunel Pension Partnership, Scottish Widows and the Church of England Pensions Board - said it was concerned that, despite "unequivocal warnings" from the United Nations and the IPCC of the risks of delayed action on climate change, that short-term interests are "trumping" the long-term interests of pension funds.
In a letter to its own investment managers, the Brunel Pension Partnership said that, as part of the UK Asset Owner Roundtable's work, it would also commission an academic to review the way in which asset managers had interpreted their clients' long-term interests in the exercise of their stewardship duties.
In the letter, Brunel Pension Partnership chief responsible investment officer and UK Asset Owner Roundtable chair Faith Ward and Brunel Pension Partnership head of listed markets Simon Wood said: "Delayed action on climate increases the chances of a disorderly climate transition and missing the goals of the Paris Agreement.
"This in turn increases the risks to pension funds' long-term interests and the ability of those funds to serve the interests of their members/beneficiaries."