Pension Funds Reporting of Financed Emissions

Amanda Karlsson & Emilie Steinm├╝ller

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this thesis is to clarify how Danish pension funds report upon financed emissions in their climate reports and the measurement problems that are identified in the reporting process. The current reporting practice is examined by analyzing the climate reports of 13 Danish pension funds in addition to conducting semistructured interviews with five of the analyzed pension funds. The pension funds have been selected among the largest Danish pension funds that publish climate reports including financed emissions. Based on theory and previous research, five measurement problems have been deduced; scopes, asset classes, data sources, data coverage and estimates. These have then been analyzed in three areas. The first area concerns how the current reporting standards relate to the measurement issues identified. The second area is how the pension funds address these issues in their reporting. The third area is how the pension funds mention the issues. The most important results of the thesis are that due to deficient and vague standards, there is a much room for interpretation among the pension funds when preparing the statement of financed emissions. At the same time, the pension funds' reporting is largely restricted by a lack of available data. Both challenges are reflected in the climate reports, which appear to be deficient, different, and incomparable. In addition, the reports are unclear as the pension funds do not disclose the limitations and shortcomings of the reports. The limitations mean that the reports are not able to provide a true and fair view of how much carbon footprint the pension funds are supporting with their financing. Ultimately, this may affect the pension funds' target and thus Denmark's target of a 70% reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases by 2030.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2022
Number of pages120
SupervisorsThomas Riise Johansen