In 2019, Ireland became one of the first countries in the world to remove companies which obtain more than a fifth of their revenues from fossil fuels from the State’s investment fund.
However, the majority of private Irish pension funds include companies involved in oil and gas exploration, extraction and refinement.
The Government’s recent Climate Action Plan stated it would “consider how a new requirement could be placed on pension providers to disclose what portion of any fund is made up of fossil fuel assets, and to provide an option to pension holders to opt for a fund which does not include fossil fuel”. In spite of a deadline for the end in 2019, there has been no progress by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection on this.
With an auto-enrollment scheme for pensions due to start in 2022, how much extra money will the Irish public be investing in companies contributing to the climate crisis once everyone is automatically signed up?
In the UK, large pension funds are putting pressure on banks to stop financing some companies. One bank under such pressure is Barclays, whose EU hub is based in Dublin. According to a report by the Rainforest Action Network, it has more money invested in companies involved in activities such as coal mining, fracking and drilling in the arctic than any other bank in Europe.
HELP US INVESTIGATE
We want to find out how Irish pensions are contributing to the climate crisis.
We want to look into whether people here are given the option either by pension providers or their employers about investing in fossil fuel companies.
Finally, we want to investigate what is being done by the Government and other regulators to improve this and if there are any incentives, from a financial perspective, to invest in more sustainable funds?
If you want to make a contribution to help this investigation happen, click the 'Fund This Proposal' button. Noteworthy investigations are sourced from and crowdfunded by the public.