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B.C. pension fund manager pouring billions of public workers’ retirement dollars into fossil fuels, report finds PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow
Tuesday, 26 June 2018 08:46
B.C. pension fund manager pouring billions of public workers’ retirement dollars into fossil fuels, report finds
By JENNY PENGStarMetro Vancouver
https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2018/06/25/bc-investment-management-corporation-still-betting-on-fossil-fuels.htmlMon., June 25, 2018
 
A new report outlines how many pension plans from B.C.’s public sector are invested in the fossil fuel industry through the B.C. Investment Management Corporation.
 
VANCOUVER—Policy analysts and researchers are calling out a large, but low-profile, pension fund manager for pooling billions of dollars worth of public workers’ retirement plans into the fossil fuel industry.
 
 
The findings come in a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and University of Victoria, which examines where British Columbian public servant pension funds are invested.
 
 
An examination of the B.C. Investment Management Corporation’s investment portfolio, the fourth largest such fund manager in Canada, found it invested $3 billion in the top 200 public fossil fuel companies.
 
The BCI oversees pensions funds for 500,000 people through 11 provincial government plans, including WorkSafe BC and the teachers’ pension plan.
 
Critics say investing in oil and gas hinders Canada’s ability to meet its Paris Agreement commitments signed in April 2016, which seeks to limit the rise in Earth’s average temperature to 2 C.
 
“You see the BCI calling themselves ‘responsible investors’ throughout much of their publications but we find that really, in the context of climate change, this is absolutely misinformation,” said Zoë Yunker, University of Victoria graduate and co-author of the report released Monday.
 
Yunker also said investments in fossil fuel industries “appear to be on the rise.”
 
The company also invests heavily in Alberta tar sands companies, she said.
 
“Their investment in Kinder Morgan rose from $30 million to over $60 million between 2016 and 2017,” Yunker said. “It’s pretty dramatic and the companies they’ve invested in have told us through their business model that they intend to push beyond the two-degree limit.”
 
She added the BCI is “laggard” on taking action combating climate change compared to other large financial and political institutions. New York City and New York state, she pointed out, have made commitments to divest from their fossil fuel holdings. A similar move was made by the Norwegian central bank that suggested their government drain their funds from their oil and gas holdings.
 

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