Publisher's Note
Toby is the CEO and co-founder of Corporate Knights Inc. and publisher of Corporate Knights Magazine. He spearheaded the first global ranking of the world’s 100 most sustainable corporations in 2005, and in 2007 coined the term “clean capitalism.”

What kind of world do you want to invest in?

New tool analyzing Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, ABP, CPPIB & others shows high costs of not divesting from fossil fuels.

Global banking firm UBS is currently running an ad campaign that asks: “Do I invest in the world I am in? Or the one I want?” This question has never been more pertinent as we come to grips with the climate reality on the eve of the Paris climate talks.

In our market society, investors have immense power to shape norms and political culture on questions of economic importance.

To date, the conventional wisdom has been that investing to foster a world that accelerates the shift from old fossil fuel energy to new clean energy is a well intentioned, but bad idea if you care about financial returns.

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CPPIB and climate risk

Corporate Knights responds to CPPIB’s reaction on Decarbonizer findings.

Corporate Knights released a report this week pegging CPPIB’s potential losses at over $7 billion(US), the result of its high exposure to the fossil fuel sector and low exposure to green blue chips (large companies with at least 20 per cent of revenues from new energy or environmental solutions as identified by Bloomberg and FTSE).

The Toronto Star reported:

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Canada is getting smarter about its (natural) assets

Progress made on the natural capital file, but action needed to institute mandatory corporate carbon disclosure.

Statistics Canada recently confirmed that natural resource wealth (namely minerals and timber) has been formally integrated into Canada’s national balance sheet, with the first release slated to occur in December 2015.

Natural resources are a significant component of Canadian wealth, worth about $1 trillion according to Statistics Canada. Now that this important source of wealth will be included on the official balance sheet, it will be possible to better manage and optimize its long-term benefits for Canadians.

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Alberta has been presented with a unique opportunity for reinvention

It's time to take action.

One of my earliest memories is of being wildly bucked by a woolly sheep, hanging on with everything my scrawny arms could muster before being hurled into the dirt at the Nose Hill Rodeo. I had mud on my face, but I was grinning because I had held on long enough to win the Mutton Bustin’ trophy.

I imagine the pioneers from Sun Company of Canada and Syncrude felt a similar sense of gratification after hanging on for so many years to finally realize the dream of making the oil sands a commercial success.

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Compelling companies to disclose their carbon emissions

Voluntary mechanisms have served their purpose. It's time for regulators to step in.

Now is the time to close the corporate disclosure gap for the most salient sustainability factors, starting by requiring all major companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions.

Current business-as-usual projections put us on track for a world of deep climate disruption with grave economic implications for long-term investors. There is nothing inevitable about this future, especially if we can harness the $225 trillion firepower of capital markets to finance new energy, industrial and transport systems to de-link carbon from prosperity. But capital markets are largely missing in action not only because of mispriced externalities but also because regulators have left investors in the dark with respect to information about corporate carbon emissions.

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