“You can't go off and get growth. That's not the foundations of a pension, especially a public pension as a public good. It is about quality curating, stewarding a future for these people. And the reason why I get jazzed about this is because the money, the scale of mone—30 to 50 trillion dollars globally—if we started to move that money for just the beneficiaries, we fix it for everyone. Because that is a lot of money to move.”
What if we bought the fossil fuel industry?
The value of pension funds in the world is a staggering amount. Unlike other funds, pensions have a fiduciary duty to their beneficiaries, a guarantee to act in the best interest of those who depend on these funds for their retirement. Ian Edwards, Founder of the Bank of Nature, says fiduciary duty encompasses guaranteeing a healthy planet—without a world under 1.5 degrees, there’s no retirement fund to pull from.
He joins me to explain the history of fiduciary duty, the role of pensions, and the difference in returns necessary for pensions funds compared to other investments. This lower return means we could use pensions to start leveraging the market and force a green transition. One way, he says, is buying up the fossil fuel industry to retire it. This is about the 99% recognising their combined wealth and power, and shutting down the very system which threatens us all.
© Rachel Donald
Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it. Support the project with a paid subscription.