National Newswatch

TORONTO — A new report by an advocacy group says some of Canada's major pension funds have made significant improvements in responding to the climate crisis, but overall are still falling short. 

The report by Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health shows a high level of inconsistency among the 11 pension funds evaluated, and finds they're lacking compared with some international peers.

Adam Scott, executive director of Shift, says major pension funds need to do more to safeguard their portfolios against climate-related risk, and to take action to lessen the crisis.

He says action by pension funds is important because the retirement plans of millions of Canadians depend on them, and because of the financial sway the funds hold.  

The report on the 11 funds, which manage over $2 trillion in assets, found that some have made commitments aligned with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, while even fewer have credible plans to get there, and only one has committed to phasing out fossil fuel funding.

Scott says that while there is still much improvement needed, he's encouraged by how quickly the momentum is shifting.

"A lot of the funds are just coming into this, they're coming to it quite late, frankly," he said. "But ... just in the last few years, we've seen eight of the pensions on the list enact a Net Zero target and a smaller group have actually taken sort of more serious steps of implementing those targets."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2023.

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press
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