The Pensions Regulator (tPR) has issued its first climate change reporting fine (amounting to £5,000) against the trustee of the ExxonMobil Pension Plan for failing to meet the requirements of the TCFD Regulations.

Although the TCFD report had been produced by the deadline, it was not published due to a faulty URL. The Trustees believed that it had been published on a publicly available website and they had not realised the URL was not functional. They assured tPR that they took their climate reporting obligations seriously and that their non-compliance was inadvertent.

tPR explained that the penalty was mandatory and in line with its monetary penalties policy. It applied an amount above the minimum because it was a corporate body and to reflect the nature of the breach.

As tPR says, this case shows that failure to comply with the the requirement to correctly publish a climate change report on time will lead to financial penalty. While administrators support schemes with their duties, trustees are ultimately responsible for ensuring climate reporting requirements are met. tPR are closely monitoring compliance with this reporting duty.

We have launched a Pension Schemes ESG Tool, helping trustees and sponsoring employers understand their ESG obligations. Download it for free here.

We are well placed to advise on ESG in relation to pension schemes of all sizes. If you would like to explore this topic further, please contact Kate Granville Smith.