What's the Colour of Money?
During the recent General Election we were encouraged to take our MP’s views on climate change into account when we cast our votes. But, the ballot box isn’t the only way to make our voices heard and a new influencing trend has recently emerged which we may give us an opportunity to turn our money green through our pensions choices.
The Church of England announced last month that it was changing its investment policy and selling stakes in companies involved in highly polluting thermal coal and tar sands. Separately, the Methodist church made a similar announcement and the World Council of Churches also ruled out any further investments in fossil fuel companies.
It is not just Christians who are highlighting the power of pensions and investments to change behaviour. A huge coal mining project in Queensland Australia has been dubbed a ‘carbon bomb’ because of the impact it will have on emission levels. That project is facing a struggle to raise finance as banks are coming under pressure from shareholders and lobbyists not to invest.
The Guardian Trust has also divested its fossil fuel holdings and is using its influence to encourage others like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust to do the same with its #keepitintheground campaign.
Many of us buy fairtrade products and seek to make good choices over how we spend our money. Changes to the way pensions are managed have also opened up the possibility to make choices with investments too. Whilst this does not constitute investment advice (and of course the value of your investments can go down as well as up!) allocating pension investments to ethical funds or those which seek to avoid environmental damage is a powerful way to extend our Christian influence and turn your money green.
For more information search online for ethical investments or ask your financial adviser.