If the recent Treasury sub-committee on financial services regulations (“Greenwashing: sustainability disclosure requirements”) is anything to go by, there remain far too many people in and around financial services who think we are doing a good job addressing sustainability challenges.

We are not. Clients are confused, and despite pockets of excellence, sustainability challenges are getting worse not better.

And neither of these will be addressed by investors sidelining real world problems or inciting ambulance chasing.

Conflating welcome mass-market improvements, like entry level responsible ownership activity and ESG integration with redirecting investment and ambitious stewardship will neither reduce systemic risks nor please clients.

It facilitates distrust and allows carbon emissions to continue to rise.

These risks are particularly acute in the pensions market where people save for the longer term and don’t always actively manage their investments.

Having been the first area to adopt what we might now call ‘ESG rules’ in 1999, this market has done more than most.

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