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OTPP commits to net-zero goal by 2050

written by Bella Palmer
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OTPP said it would hold itself accountable by establishing targets for its investments in climate solutions

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPP) is committing to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it announced.

The Canadian fund joins a growing number of asset owners to make such a move, although some are declaring an earlier deadline than 2050. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, OTTP’s peer, is a member of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance and as such has also committed to net-zero portfolio emissions by 2050.

OTPP said that over the coming months, it would hold itself accountable by establishing concrete targets for portfolio emissions and its investments in climate solutions. It will report annually on performance against its goals.

As a global pension plan, we will leverage our scale and influence to transition to a low-carbon economy and create a sustainable climate future, said Jo Taylor, president and CEO of the C$205bn (€133bn) fund.

With coordinated action net-zero by 2050 is an ambitious but achievable goal. We are committed to playing our part alongside other organisations and governments around the world to effect significant, positive change, Taylor said.

Activists at Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health, which tracks Canadian pension funds’ fossil fuel investments, said OTTP should have released today the details about how it planned to achieve its goal.

It said that for OTPP’s net-zero investment strategy to have credibility, the pension fund would need to announce steps including “exclusionary screens on new oil, gas and coal investments”, and a phase-out by 2025 of all current oil, gas and coal investments.

OTTP today said some of the key elements of its net-zero approach would be to increase investments in climate-friendly investments and solutions, ensure portfolio companies manage and report their emissions annually, and advocate clear climate policies and partner with global organisations “to effect change”.

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