Major Pension Funds back Alberta’s commitment for new climate policy

EDMONTON, September 8, 2015 – A group of 120 institutional investors representing over C$4.6 trillion in assets under management from Canada, US and Europe that invest in Alberta have praised Alberta Premier Rachel Notley supporting the government of Alberta’s commitment to update and strengthen its climate policy.

The letter says that “phasing in an effective carbon price will substantively reduce emissions over time while giving companies the opportunity to transition, and giving capital markets the opportunity to respond and allocate capital effectively.”

It adds, “Failure to act now increases the risk that an economically-disruptive price on carbon or other regulatory measures will need to be imposed at a later date.” “Effective climate policy can stimulate innovation and bolster the diversification of the Alberta economy,” the letter says.

“There is a significant and growing investor appetite for opportunities in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable land use …. Alberta is well positioned to benefit.”

The letter was jointly organized by NEI Investments and the Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE). ”Investors are deeply concerned about the portfolio risks associated with climate change but also eager to exploit opportunities related to the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Bob Walker, VP ESG Services & Ethical Funds of NEI.

“We don’t believe the status quo is benefiting Albertan companies. There is a strong economic rationale at this time for implementing a robust and credible climate policy in Alberta.”

“We encourage substantive policy initiatives that help capital markets assign value and allocate resources,” said Peter Chapman, Executive Director of SHARE. “Investors depend on government leadership; they want them to help reduce risks and grow sustainable economic opportunities. An effective carbon price is part of that process.”

NEI Investments is a national investment firm with approximately $6 billion in assets under management. It offers Canadian retail investors access to experienced money managers through a wide range of investment solutions in three fund families, NEI, Northwest Funds and Ethical Funds.

SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research & Education) SHARE is a Canadian leader in responsible investment services, research and education for institutional investors.

Included among the signatories to the letter were Ontario Public Service Employees Pension Fund, the B.C. Teachers Federation, and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

The letter is available here

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