• Atmospheric CO2 /Parts per Million /Annual Averages /Data Source: noaa.gov

  • 1980338.91ppm

  • 1981340.11ppm

  • 1982340.86ppm

  • 1983342.53ppm

  • 1984344.07ppm

  • 1985345.54ppm

  • 1986346.97ppm

  • 1987348.68ppm

  • 1988351.16ppm

  • 1989352.78ppm

  • 1990354.05ppm

  • 1991355.39ppm

  • 1992356.1ppm

  • 1993356.83ppm

  • 1994358.33ppm

  • 1995360.18ppm

  • 1996361.93ppm

  • 1997363.04ppm

  • 1998365.7ppm

  • 1999367.8ppm

  • 2000368.97ppm

  • 2001370.57ppm

  • 2002372.59ppm

  • 2003375.14ppm

  • 2004376.96ppm

  • 2005378.97ppm

  • 2006381.13ppm

  • 2007382.9ppm

  • 2008385.01ppm

  • 2009386.5ppm

  • 2010388.76ppm

  • 2011390.63ppm

  • 2012392.65ppm

  • 2013395.39ppm

  • 2014397.34ppm

  • 2015399.65ppm

  • 2016403.09ppm

  • 2017405.22ppm

  • 2018407.62ppm

  • 2019410.07ppm

  • 2020412.44ppm

  • 2021414.72ppm

  • 2022418.56ppm

  • 2023421.08ppm


Green goals gain prominence for world’s biggest pension funds

Some of the world's biggest pension funds are gradually deepening their investment commitments to sustainable assets and projects with renewables firmly on their radar.

A new study by the World Bank and the Sustainable Finance Institute, carried out by researchers from Columbia University in New York City, found that five major funds are actively embracing clean energy and are increasingly making renewables a key part of their investment strategies. 

Moreover, they are stepping up efforts to scrutinise the environmental impact of their investments before allocating fresh funds.

The research focused on Norway's Government Pension Fund Global, Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Netherlands' Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, and New York State Common Retirement Fund.

All these pension giants have incorporated measures and strategies to address net zero issues and set out plans to grow their sustainable investment portfolio.

The researchers outright applauded the schemes for “acting on climate risks and opportunities” saying that “their innovative approaches provide an example of how other funds can follow their lead.”

In particular the New York State Common Retirement Fund took hard stance on fossil fuel firms, as it took measures to work towards its net zero portfolio goal of 2040. It abandoned all of its oil and gas interests, and took on numerous renewable energy projects. Moreover, the fund launched in what researchers called "a unique" low-carbon index.

Just across the border, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, struck a major deal with a Brazilian hydropower producer, while it expanded its green real estate portfolio via a long list of 'green certified' properties. It also pushed into the sustainable infrastructure space and the issuance of green bonds helped to raise fresh funds for more renewable projects.


"It is clear that the world’s largest pension funds are acting on climate risks and opportunities, and that their innovative approaches provide an example of how other funds can follow their lead."

World Bank/SFI/Columbia University report

A similar stance proved to be challenging for Norway's Government Pension Fund Global as the scheme draws practically all of its revenues from oil and gas. However, the researchers found that the fund took specific measures to move away from coal investments and dropped investee companies that failed to meet its climate standards. It results in divestment from 282 corporates.

In the Netherlands, Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP managed to bring down its carbon footprint across its entire portfolio by 40%. ABP also took a firm stance against deforestation in supply chains, the researchers stressed.

Finally, the world's largest pension fund, Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, focused on bringing down its carbon footprint. It pumped fresh equity in low carbon stocks, adopted green bonds while its significantly stepped up its disclosures.

"In conclusion, different requirements of risk and return profiles, demographic pressures of different levels, different government policies on energy or disclosure requirements, and changes in the perception of sustainability and climate risk as a financial risk are all factors that can cause gaps between different pension funds globally," the report stated.

"It is clear that the world’s largest pension funds are acting on climate risks and opportunities, and that their innovative approaches provide an example of how other funds can follow their lead," the researchers concluded.

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