B.C. universities’ joint study scrutinizes investment in fossil fuels

A new report by University of Victoria and University of British Columbia researchers has found that one of Canada’s largest pension funds is undermining efforts to curtail global warming.

In the report, “Canada’s Fossil-Fuelled Pensions: the case of the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation,” UVic political ecologist James Rowe, UVic sociology graduate student Zoe Yunker and UBC geographer Jessica Dempsey examined the investment practices of BC Investment (BCI), the fourth-largest pension fund manager in Canada.

They concluded that BCI’s investments in fossil fuels don’t reflect the urgency of the climate crisis.

“It is widely accepted that to avoid dangerous sea level rises, drought, extreme weather and species extinction, the Earth’s average temperature must not exceed 2°C above pre-industrial levels,” says Rowe. “Yet our findings indicate that by continuing to invest heavily in fossil fuels, BCI’s strategy does not reflect the urgency of the climate crisis and is avoiding the strong action needed to forestall 2°C warming.”