Pensions are big news these days, whether it's political announcements that we are to work longer before we become eligible for the state pension or announcements of short falls amongst personal pension investments.
One area that will increasingly influence the likelihood of shortfalls in fund returns is climate change - unless pension fund trustees begin to pay more attention to the negative impact it can have.
A report commissioned by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) on pension fund trustees has found a significant lack of awareness, knowledge and understanding of the potential impact of climate change on pension funds, and this comes at a time when there are so many other pressures coming to bear on investment funds.
The new report, which is the first study to address trustees' attitudes to the impact of climate change has warned this issue is expected to have a material impact on financial investments over the coming decades due to the increased frequency of extreme weather events and increased costs for the insurance industry associated with global warming.
The research was conducted over two phases and whilst the second phase of research - which was completed earlier this year - found that many trustees' levels of awareness regarding the importance and relevance of climate change to pension funds had been raised, possibly due to climate change issues within the media, this awareness had not been translated into action in any significant way.
Trustees are in a unique position, with significant power to affect corporate behaviour through the strategy they implement within pension funds, with such funds owning the largest proportion of shares in UK listed companies.
It must be said that, whilst trustees were not complacent about climate change, the fact that they did not appreciate the links between it and the performance of their pension funds is worrying.
I believe that there is an onus and duty on all those involved in these investments to address the financial risk involved and protect pensions against them.
After all, pensions are among the most significant consumer products and investments purchased by society. Protection against this material financial risk is crucial to society's future welfare.
We would like to see guidance being developed with the support of the mainstream institutional investment community and more training which provides education on the financial risks of climate change.
If these strategies are not adopted there will be no change in trustee practice to deal with climate change risks or indeed opportunities.
This issue is one that will not go away today or tomorrow and the financial services industry must sit up and take notice and act for the economy and for society as a whole.