Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Scotland's Climate Emergency: The Role for Public Finance


By Tom Wright, Director, Baillie Gifford

Baillie GiffordClimate change has become an increasingly important cause for concern for all of us, and it is particularly important for us as stewards of pension assets, because it will lead to huge threats and opportunities. Climate instability, regulations and changing attitudes affect the companies in which we invest on authorities' behalf.  

Our session will look at the kind of world climate change will create and its impact on business and society. We will also explore how investors and asset owners should respond. Do we need to engage with carbon intense companies and encourage change from within? Or should we divest completely from carbon intensive industries and companies, and instead focus solely on renewables to meet the growing demand for energy?

The pros and cons of carbon footprinting will be discussed and we will highlight examples of Baillie Gifford’s long-term approach in supporting companies in the transition to a low carbon economy.

As the world becomes more connected and aware of how companies are operating and responding to issues including climate change, we discuss the growing evidence that good companies which are beneficial to society can grow and succeed, while companies involved in poor environmental, social and governance management will suffer in the long term. We look to show how this belief has already led us to exciting and profitable investment opportunities, while understanding that change takes time.

Conscious of the hypocrisy gap, Baillie Gifford will be providing an update at Public Finance Live 2020 on what it is doing to tackle its own environmental impact, having set itself new and ambitious goals in 2019.

Baillie Gifford & Co

Baillie Gifford is an independent investment partnership based in Edinburgh. We have managed investments globally since 1909 and for the Scottish LGPS and councils since 1986. In that time we have added c.£2.3bn of value, net of all costs and fees, helping to make your pensions more affordable and sustainable. We will continue to evolve to meet your changing needs, including how to respond to climate change, and how best to generate income and returns as your pension schemes mature.

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