FILM-MAKER and Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis has launched a new campaign to help move some of the UK's £3 trillion pension funds into green schemes ahead of next year's climate summit, COP26 in Glasgow.

The film writer, producer and director who had a major hand in hit movies such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually is fronting a move to shift the money out of industries that are harming people and into sustainable businesses.

It comes as a new poll shows that nearly three in four Scots either do not believe or do not know whether their pension is invested in line with their values.

READ MORE: Glasgow councillors delay decision on divesting pension fund from fossil fuel firms

And while around 18 million working Britons are saving into a pension fund the campaign says the research shows that only £2 out of every £10 is invested in "responsible and impactful" enterprises.

HeraldScotland: Richard Curtis

Make My Money Matter describes itself as “a people-powered campaign” that is looking to ramp up public demand for investments that do good and help with the transition towards a zero-carbon world.

The campaign includes the Scotland-based Ethical Finance Hub, which is calling on public sector pension schemes in Scotland to commit to investing in line with the Scottish Government’s ambitions to create a greener, fairer and healthier country and show leadership as the country prepares to host COP26.

It comes amid growing unrest over public sector pension funds investing in fossil fuels.

In March the Strathclyde Pension Fund (SPF) concluded that divesting from oil and gas firms is not an “effective or satisfactory solution” to climate change in a review of it’s fossil fuel investments.

At that point, the fund which is managed by Glasgow City Council, had an estimated £709m invested in fossil fuel companies.

That is despite the fact that Glasgow City Council’s own Climate Emergency Group recommended getting out of all funding of fossil fuels in a report aiming to make the city carbon neutral by 2030.

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Climate change activists made their concerns known by acting out deaths at Glasgow City Chambers in a protest over the investments made by the fund which provides pensions to 11 councils in the west of Scotland.

Mr Curtis launched Make My Money Matter at an event alongside Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England, and Helen Dean, chief executive of Nest, the UK’s largest pension provider.

Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, the initiative is calling on the pensions industry to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The campaign claims that over the past few decades, while investing in many vital businesses, UK pension funds “have also been fuelling some of the most unsustainable and exploitative industries on the planet, from tobacco to fossil fuels, arms manufacturing to gambling”.

But Make My Money Matter said it was not a divestment campaign, and was not explicitly asking people to switch their pension.

Instead, it wanted to “start a conversation” and create more transparency about where people’s money was being invested, what their options were, and what action funds were taking to help tackle the climate crisis.

Campaign co-founder Mr Curtis, who started up Comic Relief, which has raised more than £1bn for projects in Africa and the UK, said: “Our pensions are powerful, and we must use that power to build a better world.

“The £3 trillion in our UK pension pot is more than enough to take on the climate emergency, bring hundreds of new drugs to market, or help solve the housing crisis.

“But from tobacco to fossil fuels, gambling to deforestation, pension funds have invested trillions on our behalf without asking us the crucial question – do these investments create a world that we actually want to live in?

“That is why Make My Money Matter will help people understand their ‘financial footprint’ and empower us all to have pensions we can be proud of.

“In doing so, we hope to mobilise real public engagement on the power of our money ahead of COP26 in Scotland.”

A new YouGov poll found that nearly a third (32%) of people with a pension say that they now care more about the impact of how their pension is invested on people and the planet compared with the start of the pandemic. Over half (57%) of want to see their pensions invested in building a better future for people and the planet post-coronavirus.

Previous research by the Ethical Finance Hub found that only 13% of Scots who have a pension actively chose their own investment portfolio, but two-thirds said it is important that banks and other financial institutions take into account ethical, environmental and social issues when making investments.

Chris Tait, project manager of the Ethical Finance Hub, added: Today’s generation of consumers believes that investment decisions should reflect the issues they care about, such as the environment.

“With the world looking to Scotland, it’s important for financial institutions and public bodies to take into account ethical, environmental and social issues when making their investments.

“But any individual with a pension is also an investor, even though they may not necessarily consider that they are.

“A greater shift towards personal demand for responsible investment will encourage banks and asset managers to do the same.”