Pension funds in South Africa have a legal obligation to account for the financial effects of climate change on their investments, according to two groups lobbying money managers to pay closer attention to the issue. Shareholder activists Just Share and environmental law organisation ClientEarth have written to more than 50 funds in Africa’s most-industrialised nation about their duty to savers. The local industry oversees about R4.2-trillion in retirement investments, the two groups say. Legal opinion commissioned by the campaigners shows that failing to meet the requirement on climate change “would likely amount to a breach of duty by the board of a pension fund”, they said in a joint statement on Monday. Oil companies and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund are responding to climate change through steps ranging from planting forests to divesting from fossil fuels. SA depends on coal for almost all of its power generation, and unemployment of about 27% complicates the debate around re...

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