Canadian Manufacturing

Time to see climate change mitigation as an economic opportunity, pension fund exec says

Capitalists urged to stop seeing climate change as a risk, and to "get on with" seeking profits from the new realities it presents


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HALIFAX—One of Canada’s largest pension fund managers says trillions of dollars should be shifted into investments that will counter global warming, in part because it’s crucial to long-term profits.

Michael Sabia, chief executive of the Caisse de Depot et Placements, spoke today on the eve of a meeting of G7 environment, oceans and energy ministers in Halifax.

He urged capitalists to stop seeing climate change as a risk, and to “get on with” seeking profits from the new realities it presents.

Sabia was part of a panel of investors, companies, and government representatives discussing sustainable investment on the day before the three-day gathering officially starts in Halifax.

He told delegates that a pool of $46 trillion in long-term investments handled by pension funds should move more quickly to clean-energy, low-energy buildings and low-carbon transport systems.

He cited his pension fund’s investments in solar and wind energy, along with low-energy real estate projects, as examples of where growth industries lie.

However, Sabia says “not nearly enough” long-term investors are seeing that climate change means a fresh wave of investment opportunities, rather than “a constraint” on returns for their clients.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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