Multiethnic group of people cooperating for environmental protection

A coalition of investor associations launched Climate Engagement Canada (CEC) on Thursday, an initiative that aims to engage the financial community and Canadian corporations to promote a “just transition to a net-zero economy” a release said. 

The initiative is coordinated by the Responsible Investment Association, Shareholder Association for Research and Education, and Ceres, and supported by the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.

In total, 27 investors, who collectively manage over $3 trillion in assets, are founding participants, including RBC Global Asset Management, TD Asset Management, CIBC Asset Management, BMO Global Asset Management, Scotiabank and National Bank Investments.

Founding participants will identify about 40 of the country’s highest greenhouse-gas-emitting corporations and work with them on leading practices with respect to climate change risks and opportunities, the release said. 

The CEC’s development was inspired by Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance, which made a series of recommendations in 2019 to align Canada’s financial system with a low-carbon future. One recommendation was to establish a national engagement program, similar to Climate Action 100+.

The CEC has leveraged leadership from Barbara Zvan, CEO of University Pension Plan and a member of the expert panel on sustainable finance.

“Climate Action 100+ set a clear precedent for collaborative shareholder engagement,” Zvan said in the release.

“The question for the expert panel was how to adapt this successful model to the Canadian context to amplify climate ambition and action at home. What CEC delivers is a unified vision from Canada’s financial community and support for our businesses in finding competitive advantage in the transitioning economy.”