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Pensions Board helps launch new global standard on responsible climate lobbying

18 March 2022

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A NEW Global Standard on Responsible Climate Lobbying (RCLS) has been launched this week as part of the campaign to combat climate change, thanks in part to work by the Church of England Pensions Board.

The new Global Standard provides an agreed framework to assess whether a company’s lobbying is in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The initiative was led by the Pensions Board in partnership with AP7 and BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM), and the process was supported by Chronos Sustainability, InfluenceMap, and the London School of Economics.

The initiative is intended to drive a step-change in the commitment of investors and companies to responsible climate lobbying. Fourteen indicators — on issues of policy, governance, action, and disclosure — have been developed to ensure that companies take responsibility for the impact of their advocacy.

The bodies behind the new Standard — whose assets collectively are worth $130 trillion — were advised by the Principles for Responsible Investment, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (Europe), Ceres, the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, and the Investor Group on Climate Change (Australia/New Zealand).

The Standard has been road-tested globally. It is the product of two public consultations that attracted more than 220 responses from institutional investors, corporations, and others based in 19 countries.

The Pensions Board’s senior engagement manager, Clare Richards, said that corporate lobbying could significantly influence public climate policy. “We want the standard to set a high bar for companies, and to encourage a move away from ‘negative lobbying’ towards actively engaging in ‘responsible lobbying’ through supporting policies aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“The expectation for companies to advocate responsibly on climate policy is not new. The time to demonstrate full application of the responsible climate lobbying standard as a matter of urgency is now.”

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