Pension providers should channel billions of pounds of savings into green projects to help fight climate change, The Prince of Wales has said.

Speaking at a conference held by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, Prince Charles said companies must act now rather than just setting climate targets for years down the line. 

He said: “Your ability to raise and allocate funds for transition and adaptation, to embed greenhouse gas reductions within your organisations’ decision-making processes, to influence others, and to track and report on progress against these targets, places you at the very heart of the transition.

“I need hardly say that it would help a great deal if you could use your vital expertise and teams to help support the work of the sector taskforces in my Sustainable Markets Initiative as we examine financing the transition by industry, and as we look at industry standards and metrics.”

His comments came at a time of ongoing debate within the pension industry about how much money should be diverted from fossil fuels into green alternatives. 

How fossil fuel exclusion would have affected your investments

The UK pensions market is the third largest in the world, behind the US and Japan, with assets totalling $3.6 trillion (£2.6 trillion). 

However, there are concerns that any rapid withdrawal of cash from fossil fuel companies seeking to transition to cleaner alternatives could hurt their plans and result in lower returns for savers. 

Prince Charles, is an outspoken advocate for climate action and launched a Terra Carta, or “Earth Charter”, earlier this year.

He said: “Over the past year the devastating pandemic has had a horrifying impact on lives and livelihoods everywhere. 

“Reflecting on that, and all we’ve endured together, it is more clear than ever that human health, economic health and planetary health are fundamentally connected, and that we must find ways to build back sustainably.

“CEOs from organisations large and small have signed the Terra Carta, signalling their support for this roadmap towards a sustainable future by 2030. You never know, your CEO might just want to add his or her name to the list.”