Public Pensions are still Banking on Fossil Fuels

By Staff

August 28th, 2021



Everyone on a pension or people who rely on the investments to live comfortably – will want the best investment they can find.

If you belong to a public sector pension plan you want them to make wise investments.

Is investing in the fossil fuel industry a good investment?

The dividends are good and the share price is holding.  If the biggest issue we face as a society is climate change how does that square with investing in the fossil fuel business

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives had some comments to make on this conundrum saying that Canada’s biggest public pensions are still banking on fossil fuels.

Two of Canada’s biggest public pension plans could lead the way toward a global transition to a greener, more sustainable economy, but their commitments to climate action may be more talk than walk. The Canada Pension Plan and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec say they are serious about tackling climate change, however, they continue to bank on fossil fuels, this Corporate Mapping Project report shows.

The Canada Pension Plan has increased its shares in fossil fuel companies since Canada signed the Paris Agreement in 2016 and while the Quebec plan has slightly decreased its fossil fuel shares in the same period, it has over 52 per cent more fossil fuel shares than the Canada Pension Plan. The investment patterns of both plans do not reflect the urgent action needed to address the scale of the climate crisis. Both are heavily invested in member companies of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which has a history of obstructing the necessary transition away from fossil fuels required for Canada to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

The authors question why the fund managers of these public pension plans are investing in companies that are actively derailing necessary climate action.

The report includes recommendations for Canadian public pension fund trustees and investment boards and for the federal and provincial governments regarding how Canadians’ pension funds should be invested.

Full report

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