Image of dark night with lightning above stormy sea
© Sergey Nivens / 123RF Stock Photo

Ahead of the COP26 climate summit next week in Glasgow, Scotland, Canadian investors managing more than $5.5 trillion in assets signed a statement recognizing “an urgent need to accelerate the transition towards a net-zero economy.”

The Responsible Investment Association co-ordinated the statement in which signatories stated their fiduciary responsibility to consider climate-related risks and returns, and their support of climate-related financial disclosures aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Last week, the Canadian Securities Administrators proposed mandatory disclosure requirements for issuers in line with TCFD standards.

The statement — which was signed by the asset management divisions of five big banks as well as other major asset managers and pension funds — features elements of the climate change discussion specifically relevant to Canada.

The transition to a net-zero economy should take Indigenous perspectives into account and support Indigenous economic opportunities, it says, recognizing that Indigenous Peoples have managed “collective wealth” such as land and resources for millennia.

“Indigenous Peoples have faced disproportionate burdens and adverse impacts of economic and political transitions throughout Canada’s history,” the statement says.

And, while moving to a low-carbon economy will transform certain industries, such as Canada’s energy sector, the statement calls for “a just transition that does not leave workers or communities behind.”

“We also recognize that the financing required for transition activities and climate solutions presents an investment opportunity,” it says.

Read the full statement here.