Local News from North & South Tyneside

Tyne and Wear Pension Fund Makes Further Climate Commitment

The Tyne and Wear Pension Fund has strengthened its ‘green’ credentials by approving a £200 million commitment to the Border to Coast Climate Opportunities portfolio. 

This is in addition to the launch commitment of £465 million, meaning a total commitment of £665 million in the last two years.

The Climate Opportunities portfolio targets investments that will have a positive impact on climate change and support global ambitions to reach net zero by 2050, such as renewable energy generation, battery storage and electric vehicles. It also seeks to invest in sustainable food production, carbon capture and storage, forestry and projects to improve the resilience of electricity grids.

Among the projects the Tyne and Wear Pension Fund supports through the Climate Opportunities portfolio are:

  • A large battery storage system in South Wales. Located on land at a decommissioned coal-fired power station, the site can store 230MW of energy – an essential component to ensuring renewable energy can be stored and used efficiently and effectively.
  • A green hydrogen platform producing cleaner energy for industrial use such as sustainable aviation fuel and steel manufacturing.
  • UK projects focused on managing the stability of the electricity system in response to the rapid growth of renewables (known as synchronous condensers).

The latest investment aims to build on the strong progress already being made by the Pension Fund in its commitment to being Net Zero by “2050 or sooner.” In December 2023, the Pension Fund announced significant progress against its interim targets to reduce emissions across the whole investment portfolio. The reported 2023 carbon footprint shows that, based on the Fund’s primary climate Weighted Average Carbon Intensity, emissions have reduced by almost 40 per cent from the 2019 baseline.

Councillor Anne Walsh, Chair of the Pensions Committee, said: “The Pension Fund takes its responsibilities with regard to climate change very seriously. This is a significant further commitment to invest in a range of solutions that aim to tackle climate change which aligns with our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the investment portfolio. 

“We are confident this latest commitment will deliver the financial returns we need for our members’ pensions as well as contributing towards a more sustainable future.”