COP26, the conference on climate change and global warming, took place over the first two weeks of November, and has provoked many different opinions and responses. 

Some will agree with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s assertion, that it is one minute to midnight for the planet, while others may question why attendance at a conference on climate change, needs four hundred private jets flying in and out of Glasgow.

Regardless of your personal views, it is worth discussing what, if any, effect COP26 may have on your savings and investments. 

Three days into the conference, it was widely reported that most big UK companies and financial institutions, will soon be required to show how they will hit climate change targets. 

This forms part of the UK’s wider effort to achieve net zero, a balance between the carbon a country or business is emitting, and the carbon it is removing from the atmosphere, by 2050. 

By 2023, companies will need to set out detailed plans for how they will move to a low carbon future, and be transparent and accountable, regarding their environmental impact. 

Although the government has not committed to making corporate net zero commitments mandatory, the option still remains on the table and could be explored in future years. 

All this comes as companies are already under increasing pressure to comply with environmental, social and governance requirements. 

Impact Investing, investments made with the intention of generating positive environmental, and societal change alongside a financial return, is growing rapidly, especially among younger investors. Whatever their feelings about the environment, companies may well find themselves with little choice, other than to meet the demands of legislative change, alongside pressure from potential investors. 

The simple answer to the question we posed, is that COP26 may have little immediate effect on your savings and investments. However, the mood of legislators and campaigners is clear, with many believing companies will need to change what they do and how they report results to investors. 

This will be a challenging time for companies, as well as fund managers and investment managers, as they will need to consider much more than profitability, market share and future growth prospects. 

However, we work with some of the very best fund managers there are, and we are in regular contact with them. That means we can make sure that your savings and investments stay on track, to meet your long-term financial planning goals.