A MESSAGE FROM RICHARD CURTIS
I’ve always been interested in campaigns with big ideas, from Comic Relief to Make Poverty History. But what I hadn’t focused on was where we put our pension money. And this, as I learned last year, is one of the most important things we can do to build a better world.
The global pension market is worth a staggering $47 trillion. That money – owned by each and every one of us – is more than enough to help deliver the Global Goals and meet the Paris Climate Targets.
But while investing in many vital businesses, pension funds have also been fuelling some of the most unsustainable industries on the planet. From tobacco to fossil fuels, weaponry to gambling, pension funds have invested
trillions on our behalf without asking us the crucial question – do these investments create a world we actually want to live in?
In doing so, many of us have become unwitting hypocrites. Peace campaigners are accidentally investing in arms, vegans investing in meat, doctors in tobacco, and the most sustainable businesses funding the worst polluting fossil fuel companies.
The good news is that the public – especially young people – are starting to catch on. More than two thirds of UK citizens want their savings to consider people and the planet as well as profit.
They know that our pension pot can be invested in discovering vaccines, building affordable housing or expanding renewable energy. It can support companies that champion diversity, invest in local communities, and provide decent employment.
Our money could be pouring into innovative and exciting businesses that are changing our world, and shaping the kind of future we want to retire in.
A sustainable pension can have up to 27x more impact on cutting our carbon footprint than giving up flying and becoming a vegan, combined. So find out who your pension provider is, where it's invested, and how it could be doing good while it grows.
Our pensions are worth $47 trillion. It’s time we made this money matter.
Writer, Director, Co-Founder of Red Nose Day and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate