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UK Parliamentary Pension Fund boosts renewables investments

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The UK Parliamentary Pension Fund has increased its investments in renewable energy, although it still partly relies on fossil fuel companies.

According to the annual report from the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund, the total assets amount to £733 million (€806 million). The report states that Trustees introduced an allocation to renewable infrastructure investments. It reads: "After receiving training on alternative benchmark indices, presentations from industry partners and formal advice, the Trustees agreed to convert the fund's index tracking global equity mandate to sustainable multi factor equity and low carbon approaches."

Despite announcing that it is investing in renewable energy and infrastructure, UK Parliament also revealed a list of its top 20 pension holdings, which includes the likes of Royal Dutch Shell (0.6%) and BP (0.6%). Speaking in parliament on the pension fund developments, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, said: "Investing in clean energy is clearly the right thing to do, financially and for the future of our planet, so I'm glad the Parliamentary Pension Fund is doing this.

"But it has to also stop investing in Shell and BP. Parliament declared a climate emergency nearly a year ago, and the Parliamentary Pension Fund needs to fall in line with this by ending the support for fossil fuels."

Amy MacConnachie, head of external affairs at the Renewable Energy Association, said that the increased investment in renewables by the Parliamentary Pension Fund was "welcomed" and a "huge achievement" for the MPs who initiated the campaign. She said: "Diverting almost a third of funds to low carbon generation supports the renewables and clean technology industry, symbolises Parliament's commitment to our legally binding net-zero targets and consolidates the UK's position as leaders in green finance.

"Going forward, we would urge the Parliamentary Pension Fund to go a step further by ensuring that 100% of investments are in renewables and clean technology companies or in companies that have committed to going net zero and have robust strategies in place to achieve this."

The annual report also provided a full list of fund managers, including BlackRock Advisors, MFS International, M&G and PIMCO Europe. On 24 March, 32 organisations sent a joint letter to BlackRock Advisors, urging them to divest from Drax, the owner of one of the world's largest biomass power stations in North Yorkshire, UK.