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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.”

Divestment would have made NY pension fund $22B richer

By Toby A.A. Heaps
Research by Corporate Knights shows that avoiding fossil fuels would have made the state pension fund much wealthier.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) would be an estimated $22.2 billion richer had it decided to divest its fossil fuel stocks ten years ago, according to analysis performed by Corporate Knights. That works out to more than $19,820 for of each of the fund’s 1,122,626 members and retirees, an amount that would have covered more than 25 percent of the costs from 2012’s climate change fuelled Superstorm Sandy.

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Beyond pipelines

How to get all of Canada paddling in the same direction

At a summit back in 2014, then-Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer extolled the environmental virtues of pipelines, leaving a lot of people scratching their heads. Sure, it’s safer and more efficient to move oil by pipe than rail, as the Lac-Mégantic tragedy showed. But his suggestion that more pipeline capacity would not influence oil sands expansion and its attendant environmental impacts was disingenuous. Or at least it was back then in a world with $100 oil.

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Knights of the (clean capitalism) realm

It's not enough to be focused on CSR

A number of years ago at a dinner hosted by Corporate Knights, Lord Nicholas Stern asked what a “corporate knight” was and if he could become one.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him no, but according to Arthurian legend, his role counselling governments on the costly risks of delaying action on climate change would be more akin to Merlin, King Arthur's adviser, prophet and magician. But his question of what and who is a corporate knight has lingered, and is in need of some clarification.

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2018 Better World Fund Ranking

Which funds are best at creating a more just and environmentally friendly world?

While the sea ice is melting in the Arctic at the fastest pace in 1,500 years and the California forests are burning at a rate greater than at any time in recorded history, the silver lining peeking through is that the world’s most important investors are no longer missing in action on the climate challenge of our generation.

The World Bank has promised to stop virtually all lending for oil and gas projects in the developing world after 2019, sending a powerful message to global producers that financial institutions are reassessing the risks of fossil fuel development.

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Bank statement

A Q&A with deputy governor of Bank of Canada Timothy Lane about Canada's path towards a low-carbon future.

This past March, the Bank of Canada had its coming out party on the topic of climate change in the form of a speech at the Finance and Sustainability Initiative in Montreal by deputy governor Timothy Lane. In his talk, titled “Thermometer Rising – Climate Change and Canada’s Economic Future,” Lane offered glimpses into how the bank is grappling with the economic implications of climate change, which he cited as “one of the biggest challenges facing Canada and the world in the 21st century” that will have “material and pervasive effects” on the financial system.

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