Pension funds at a crossroads: Incremental greening or bold climate leadership?

Technical Paper #2021-3

Version Number: 2.0

February 23, 2021

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Scott Janzwood

Deputy Director of Research and Operations, Cascade Institute

Focusing on Canadian pension funds, this paper investigates the forces constraining investors from taking a bolder leadership role in the net-zero carbon energy transition. It also examines the forces pushing in the opposite direction—those that, if amplified and synchronized, could lead to changes in investment decisions commensurate with the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. Lastly, it presents strategies to tip that balance that can be implemented by organizations, activists, and researchers working to accelerate pension fund leadership on climate change.