'Revolving Door' with Fossils Has Pension Plans Falling Behind on Net-Zero
Canadian pension funds worth $2.1 trillion are gambling our retirement savings on fossil fuel investments. How lucky do you feel?
The revolving door between the boards of major pension funds and fossil fuel companies is one of the factors putting Canadians’ retirement savings at risk, according to an exhaustive new analysis released earlier this week.
The scoring in the first-ever Canadian Pension Climate Report Card covers 11 top retirement plans with $2.1 trillion under management. It indicates a wide range of performance, from a B+ for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) to a D- for the hapless and contradictory Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo).
The report by Toronto-based Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health also introduces a new Greenwashing Award for pension funds whose investment activities “appear to be more environmentally friendly or less environmentally damaging than they really are.” The competition looks to have been fierce, but top (dis)honours this year go to the Canada Pension Plan, followed by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the federally-owned Public Service Pension Investment Board (PSP).
The report card does show pension plans beginning to take the transition off carbon seriously, with eight of the country’s 11 funds at least making rhetorical commitments to bring their portfolios to net-zero by 2050.
But they’re far behind sector leaders in Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. And the stunning gap between the Canadian funds’ promises and their actions comes through loud and clear in a 103-page analysis and 40-page summary, the first in what Shift intends as an annual series.