The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) manages one of the country’s largest pools of investment capital at over $400 billion. How pension funds choose to invest has significant bearing on how we collectively address the climate emergency and the needed energy transition away from fossil fuels. This report asks if the CPPIB is investing with the 1.5-degree Celsius limit on global average temperature rise as outlined in the Paris Agreement and finds it is not.
The authors of this report say this is a moral and ecological failure and also a financial risk. As energy generation shifts away from fossil fuels, investors who do not respond may find themselves left with “stranded assets”—investments that are no longer profitable—and Canada Pension Plan recipients would be collectively affected. Worse still, is that their pension investments would continue to contribute to climate change rather than supporting measures committed to finding solutions.
This report is part of the Corporate Mapping Project, which is jointly led by the University of Victoria, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (BC & Saskatchewan offices) and the Parkland Institute. This research was supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Author: James Rowe, Steph Glanzmann, Jessica Dempsey and Zoë Yunker
James Rowe is an Associate Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria and a co-investigator with the Corporate Mapping Project. His research is focused on improving the internal function of social movements so they can better overcome external constraints such as the concentrated economic power of elites, and more effectively address pressing challenges like climate change, white supremacy and economic inequality. He is currently completing a book titled Radical Mindfulness: Facing the Forces of Domination.
Steph Glanzmann, a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia, is Assistant Organizing Director at Future Majority, a national, non-partisan non-profit that is empowering young people to vote.
Jessica Dempsey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia and a collaborator with the Corporate Mapping Project. Her research centres around the political ecologies of biodiversity conservation, focusing on explaining how and why biodiversity loss continues despite the proliferation of conservation laws and policies.
Zoë Yunker is a student in the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia and a research assistant with the Corporate Mapping Project. Her investigative work looks at industry’s role in shaping federal policy reform on state-Indigenous relations and her work on Canadian pension capital explores relationships between finance and energy transition. Her work has been featured in academic publications and the CCPA-BC’s Policy Note.