Pension Fund Climate Leadership Project

The Pension Fund Climate Leadership (PFCL) project aims to activate pension fund leadership on climate change and accelerate the net-zero carbon energy transition. Researchers investigate the dominant norms and worldviews among pension fund leaders in order to create opportunities for stimulating rapid shifts in norms and behavior by the world’s largest and most influential asset owners.

Working with project partners, the Cascade Institute is filling key research gaps on the evolution of pro-climate and anti-climate norms within the pension fund community. Institute researchers use these findings to co-design strategies with five key groups currently engaging with pension funds to rapidly decarbonize pension fund investment portfolios: youth climate activists, teachers, public servants, “typical” plan members, and activist investors. The project also engages directly with pension funds themselves—helping them to interpret and fulfill their evolving fiduciary duty in an era of escalating climate risk to actively shape—and not merely hope for—a rapid green economic transformation.