Not content with climate change related rules on what insurers can, or cannot cover, (new coal, gas, oil etc) activists are now taking court action to try and wrest control of UK pension funds.
The argument is that only “good” energy investments will be permitted assuming the activists win, but will those no-fossil fuel investments actually keep the lights on in 30 years time, or power 10 million EVs? Nobody knows obviously. There is a wider question of the assault on Boards actually having real decision-making investment power within private companies. It may be the will of the electorate that prompts laws by politicians, it may not. But can a private company function as a profitable enterprise at all if it is subject to activist court action when it makes any decision which runs counter to the regime narrative? Perhaps that corporate bankruptcy across the private sector is really the long term aim here.
Here are some thoughts from Clyde & Co;
Laura Cooke, partner at Clyde & Co, comments on the opening of today’s Court of Appeal hearing involving the largest UK pension scheme (Universities Superannuation Scheme):
“As climate change related litigation ramps up, we’ve seen shareholders, environmental charities and regulators challenging companies on climate change grounds. This time two academics are seeking permission to sue the directors of the sole corporate trustee of a pension scheme, claiming amongst other matters that continued investment in fossil fuels amounts to a breach of statutory and fiduciary duties.
“While climate is not the only aspect of this action, if permission were to be granted for the action to proceed, any subsequent judgment could provide a real indication on one of the most important and debated aspects of directors’ fiduciary duties in the context of climate change related risks.
“Following the High Court’s relatively firm shut down of ClientEarth’s application to pursue the climate-related derivative action against Shell earlier this year, not only will pension funds, investors, directors, academics, and lawyers be watching, so too will their insurers.”