New York state pension fund says it’s selling off a $7M stake in oilsands, The third-largest U.S. public pension fund says it’s transitioning to net-zero investments by David Thurton, CBC News, Apr 12, 2021
New York’s multi-billion-dollar government-run pension fund announced today that it’s pulling investments worth more than $7 million out of some of Canada’s major players in the oilsands.
The New York State Pension Fund — the third largest such fund in the United States — said it would be selling off securities in several Canadian oilsands companies and would not make future investments in them.
The seven companies are:
- Imperial Oil Ltd.
- Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
- Husky Energy Inc. (acquired by Cenovus)
- MEG Energy Corp.
- Athabasca Oil Corp.
- Japan Petroleum Exploration Ltd.
Suncor, one of the oilsands’ largest players, was not on the list.
The New York State Common Retirement Fund, worth $247.7 billion, manages over a million state and municipal employees’ pensions. In December, the fund announced it would transition its financial portfolio to net-zero friendly investments by 2040.
State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a media statement Monday the fund is pulling out of companies that don’t have viable plans to adapt to a “low-carbon future.”
“As nations around the world become increasingly serious about addressing the threat of climate change, and as market forces drive a low-carbon economic transition, we need to make sure our investments line up with this reality,” DiNapoli said. “Companies responsible for large greenhouse gas emissions like those in this industry pose significant risks for investors.“
… On Monday after the New York fund announced it was divesting, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan defended the oil and gas works saying they they will lead Canada’s clean energy transition.
“The Canadian energy workers who figured out how to pull oil out of sand in the Prairies and out of the treacherous North Atlantic off of Newfoundland are the same people who will build our low-emissions energy future,” O’Regan said in a statement. That’s enabling Tar Shit! We all know (especially our politicians) that regulators look the other way as polluting corporations in Canada get away with murder. Companies do not clean up unless investor money dictates so. Our energy regulators like AER have proven themselves to be pathetic law-violating two-steak-lunch eating rubber-stampers of oil and gas patch hell.
Energy companies such as Cenovus have committed to either achieving net-zero emissions or adopting what’s known as ESG (environment, sustainability, governance) policies.
Cenovus said in a statement it committed to achieving net-zero emission by 2050, adding it “reflects our commitment to doing our part to address Canada’s Paris commitments, along with the rest of society.” Cenovus recently purchased Husky Energy; in the wake of the merger, Cenovus said, it will be setting “new near-term targets.”
Environmental groups applauded the pension fund’s decision. Richard Brooks, Stand.earth’s climate finance director, said it’s the first state fund to divest from the oilsands and it’s “no small matter.”
“It’s time to pivot to clean, safe renewable energy. That’s where the smart money, led by New York, is headed,” Brooks said in a media statement.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers was critical of the announcement coming out of New York.
“Attempts to stifle Canadian production by restricting financing can have only one effect; countries with lower environmental standards — and in many cases lower social, human rights and governance standards FFS! That lame Rebel Media/Ezra Levant/Steve Harper excuse to keep polluting and killing is old and stinks. Stop already CAPP. You are toast, tar toast. — will fill the void. We should be supplying Canadian energy to the world,” said Tim McMillan, the president and CEO of CAPP.
New York pension fund divests $7 million from Canadian oil sands firms by Nia Williams, Reuters, April 12, 2021, Investing.com
New York’s state pension fund is restricting investment in six Canadian oil sands companies because they have not shown they are prepared for a transition to a low-carbon future, the fund’s Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Monday.
The New York State Common Retirement Fund will divest more than $7 million in securities already held in the companies, and not make any further investments in them, DiNapoli said in a statement.
Canada’s oil sands hold the world’s third-largest crude reserves and have some of the highest emissions intensity per barrel, due to the carbon-intensive production process of extracting tar-like bitumen from the ground.
Climate-focused investors are putting increasing pressure on the companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or face divestment.
In December, the fund said it would help curb climate change by transitioning its investments to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, making it the first U.S. pension fund to set the goal by that date.
“We have carefully reviewed companies in the oil sands industry and are restricting investments in those that do not have viable plans to adapt to the low-carbon future,” DiNapoli said. “Companies responsible for large greenhouse gas emissions like those in this industry, pose significant risks for investors.”
The companies are Imperial Oil, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, MEG Energy Corp, Athabasca Oil Corp, Japan Petroleum Exploration Ltd, and Cenovus Energy Inc. A seventh company mentioned in DiNapoli’s statement, Husky Energy, was acquired by Cenovus in January.
New York State continues to invest in oil sands producer Suncor Energy.
The fund is the third-largest pension fund in the United States with an estimated valuation of about $248 billion.
“The smart money, led by New York, is headed away from the climate-damaging energy sectors of the past, and into the future with clean, safe renewable energy,” said Richard Brooks, Climate Finance Director at Stand.Earth.
Canadian oil sands firms ousted by NY state fund for not planning end of production by Jeff Lagerquist, April 12, 2021, Yahoo!Finance Canada
New York’s state pension fund said Monday that it will restrict investment in six Canadian oil sands companies “that have not demonstrated that they are prepared for the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
The blacklisted Canadian companies include Imperial Oil (IMO.TO)(IMO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) (CNQ), Husky Energy, MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Athabasca Oil (ATH.TO), and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO)(CVE). Japan Petroleum Exploration (JP9.F) was also included in Monday’s announcement. The fund said these companies “failed to show they are transitioning out of oil sands production.”
The New York State Common Retirement Fund said it will also sell off more than US$7 million in securities in these companies as it evaluates its oil sands holdings. New York’s is the third-largest public pension fund in the United States, ending last year with approximately US$247.7 billion in assets.
“As nations around the world become increasingly serious about addressing the threat of climate change, and as market forces drive a low-carbon economic transition, we need to make sure our investments line up with this reality,” New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement.
He added that the decision comes after careful review of Canada’s oil sands industry, which was determined to be “more costly and carbon-intensive than other forms of crude production.”
The move to exclude some of Canada’s most prominent energy players was part of DiNapoli’s broader review of the transition readiness of energy sector investments facing climate risk. Last year, the fund divested from 22 coal firms.
Shale oil and gas companies will be evaluated next.
New York’s state pension fund has committed to curbing climate change by overhauling its investments to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
It’s not the first fund to target Canada’s energy industry for its environmental track record. Last May, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), a branch of Norway’s central bank, said it excluded Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Suncor Energy (SU.TO)(SU), and Imperial Oil due to “unacceptable greenhouse gas emissions.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the time that the decision by the US$1 trillion Norwegian fund underscores the growing importance of climate change risk to global investors.
“We’ve seen investors around the world looking at the risks associated with climate change as an integral part of investment decisions they make,” Trudeau said at a press conference in May.
“It is so important for Canada to continue to move forward on fighting climate change and reduce our emissions in all sectors. I can highlight that many companies in the energy sector have understood that the investment climate is shifting, and there is a need for clear leadership and clear targets to reach on fighting climate change to draw on global capital.”
Refer also to:
Ovintiv/Encana, Chevron, Exxon et al deeply deserve this! CNBC’s Jim Cramer: “I’m done with fossil fuels … they’re just done. We’re starting to see divestment all over the world. … It’s going to be a parade that says, ‘Look, these are tobacco and we’re not going to own them.’ … Younger people don’t want to own them. The dividends are great…but you can tell that the world’s turned on them. It’s actually happening really quickly.”
Norges Bank blacklists CNRL, Cenovus (split from Encana – now Ovinvtiv – after Ernst lawsuit filed), Suncor and Imperial Oil from Gov’t Pension Fund Global for unacceptable carbon emissions in Alberta’s tarsands
Bank in Quebec, Caisse Solidaire, offers Oil-Free RRSPs! 250 professors, including from Calgary, ask Canadian universities to divest from petroleum industry. Laure Waridel: “One of the ways to put the economy at the service of the planet is to review the way we invest.”
Major victory in 8-year fight to halt fossil fuel investments: University of Victoria, BC announces full divestment of quarter-billion-dollar working capital fund. More to go: Long-term endowment fund, valued at over $400 million.
Wise Norway wealth fund (world’s biggest) sold off entire oil patch portfolio by end 2020, addressing a key risk. The fund revealed $10bn loss on oil and gas holdings in 2020, had been valued at more than $40bn. Asset managers to hunt down investment opportunities in renewable infrastructure.
Another huge win for global movement to stop flow of money to big polluters with approval of $4Billion Fossil Fuel divestment. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: “Fossil fuels are not only bad for our planet and our frontline communities, they are a bad investment”
Law-violating, aquifer-frac’er bully Ovintiv/Encana/(Cenovus spawned after Ernst lawsuit filed): “New York-based investor considers Ovintiv…to be the poster child for all that ails the North American exploration and production sector…. The sector as a whole is rife with excessive compensation and a lack of accountability”
Bankruptcy plan to let Cenovus/Husky “legally” escape clean-up, aided by taxpayer-funded courts? Cenovus (Encana spawn), buys Husky for $23.6 Billion, “including debt” (financed by Canada Pension Plan and AIMCo?); Will kill jobs Kenney promised would increase when he gave industry $Billions in tax breaks, mega corporate welfare, tax super holiday and citizen-financed propaganda (war room and Steve Allen’s witch hunt).