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How climate change
could impact your

Climate change is the fight of our lives. We’re reaching the point of no return, that could cause irreversible damage to nearly every aspect of our lives.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

From food shortages to property damage to higher prices and smaller pensions, every degree that global temperature rises will come at a cost to our lives, the economy and the environment. This isn't something we can tackle on an individual level. Governments and businesses around the world must take action now if something is to change.

We’re doing our part to limit global warming with our new climate change policy and are proud to be among the first UK pension providers to commit to transitioning to a net zero carbon strategy.

What are we facing?

Climate models indicate that the world’s temperature is likely to increase above 4C by the end of this century if things don’t change. This doesn’t just threaten the quality of our day-to-day lives. It’s a risk to virtually every sector of business and the wider economy itself.

Scientists believe that our best hope is to drastically reduce carbon emissions now, limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5C above the level it was at the start of the modern industrial era. This is what most countries in the world have committed to in the Paris Agreement.

How will it affect you?

The economy and the environment are so closely linked that if we don’t act, the UK could see huge changes by the end of the century:

London could see heatwaves of forty eight degrees celsius, bringing diseases like Zika or Dengue Fever. Cities like York and Leeds could be forty per cent more likely to flood, at huge cost to local business and homeowners. British wildlife is at risk. Puffin population levels could drop by 89% by 2050.

As could the rest of the world:

Crop population could fall by up to fifteen per cent for every one degree celsius increase, pushing prices up. One hundred million people could be pushed into poverty around the world. One hundred and forty million people could be forced to become climate migrants

All this could significantly impact whether companies can make profits in the future, shrinking your pension pot while raising your costs of living.

Climate change won’t just affect your financial health either. Pollutants linked to climate change are known to cause cancer, asthma, strokes and heart disease, and air pollution alone causes 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year.

How can I help make a change?

You already are, along with over 11 million other Nest members. As a pension saver, you’re a stakeholder in global financial markets. Your Nest pension savings are held in everything from the world’s biggest companies to sectors like food or transport.

And it’s your pension that gives you power.

We manage over £22 billion on behalf of members like you. By changing how this money is invested, we stand a chance of changing how businesses and industries around the world operate. That’s why our new climate change risk policy matters.

You’re not alone in wanting to build a better world.

  • 66% think the UK should try as hard as possible to reduce its carbon emissions by as much as possible, even if other industrialised nations don’t
  • three quarters of Nest members say responsible investment is important to them
  • 71% of UK savers would opt for a fully or partially sustainable pension if they had the choice

Providers that don’t take climate change into account risk more than your money. They risk your future.

We're making our whole portfolio greener. We're committing to the Paris Agreement. We want all the people we invest with to do their part, or we won't do business with them. We'll use our voice to influence public policy

That means we'll:

  • transition our portfolio to the 1.5C global warming limit
  • put more money into renewables and green technology
  • encourage businesses we invest in to act sustainably
  • reduce how much money goes to the biggest greenhouse gas polluters
  • stop investing in the most harmful fossil fuels
  • work to reduce our portfolio’s impact on nature and biodiversity
  • stop working with companies and fund managers that aren’t aligned with the Paris Agreement
  • partner with non-profit campaigners like Climate Action 100+ to address environmental issues and encourage businesses to change
  • lobby for the UK pensions sector to be more transparent about its contribution to climate change

We’re one of the first UK pension providers to commit to these standards but it shouldn’t stop with us. By the end of 2018, UK pension savers collectively invested £6.1 trillion in the global economy. If money talks, that amount of money shouts – and we want to encourage our fellow providers to make climate change a priority too.

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Our commitment to you

A lot of hard work has gone into researching how climate change will affect our members' money, and how to protect your pot. You’ll find all the details in our climate change risk policy.

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