The United Church of Canada was one of the first Canadian institutional investors to sign a recently launched public statement setting out Investor Expectations on Corporate Climate Lobbying (click the “made clear” link in the first line to see the statement).
To date, 62 investors have signed the statement, representing total assets under management of more than US$3.8 trillion. The statement was launched by the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), in which the United Church is a signatory.
The statement makes it clear that company lobbying on climate change policy and regulation must be in line with the universally accepted goal of limiting global temperature rises to two degrees Celsius. The statement addresses the problem of corporations that publicly accept the need to move to a low carbon environment but at the same time undermine this goal by financing trade associations, think-tanks, and other bodies lobbying against climate initiatives.
Investors are calling for companies to improve their practice and transparency regarding processes for climate policy engagement and support for third-party organizations that lobby on climate change.
Investors will be taking this message to companies through both individual and collaborative engagement with company boards and management. The UNPRI is coordinating a working group of investors engaging companies in Australia, Canada, and the USA. The Canadian investor organization, SHARE, is participating in the working group, and the church as a client of SHARE will have opportunities to join with other Canadian investors to engage companies on this issue.