Pension funds and Divestment: What Canadian Trustees and Workers should know

Pension Funds and Fossil Fuels: The Economic Case for Divestment , released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in November, examines the top 20 public pension funds in Canada and estimates that their fossil fuel holdings put them at risk of losses of approximately $5.8 billion, because of the potential for new regulations, carbon pricing, emission caps, and stranded assets. The report, aimed at   pension fund trustees and concerned workers , argues for divestment of fossil fuel holdings and briefly reviews some of the alternative financial instruments and clean energy projects that could benefit from the divested capital. The analysis is supported by an October report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, Lost in Transition , which warns that “ Coal, oil and gas companies are misleading shareholders with overly optimistic future demand projections” and “these scenarios are potentially underestimating the pace and scale of the transformation of the energy sector”. And Unhedgeable Risk: How Climate Change Sentiment Impacts Investment  concludes that that investors should concern themselves not only with the long-term fundamentals of climate change, but also with the immediate risks of “ sentiment shifts” (such as oil price panic and sell-off).

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