CPPIB invests in Chinese coal despite climate change stance

Despite owning millions worth of stock in Chinese coal companies, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board continues to call itself a climate-change leader. “We are thinking about climate change,” CPPIB’s CEO Mark Machin told the Commons finance committee according to Blacklock’s Reporter. “Climate change and the gradual transition to the low-carbon environment will continue to influence the world we live in. We have committed to be a leader among asset owners in understanding the risks posed and opportunities presented by climate change.”

In its 2020 Annual Report, the CPPIB disclosed it holds $1 million worth of stock in coal distributor Jiangsu Guoxin Corp. Ltd., $3 million of shares in China Coal Energy Co. Ltd., which operates 12 mines, and $42 million of stock in China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd., the People’s Republic largest state-owned coal-mining company. However, board spokesman Darryl Konynenbelt declined to discuss Chinese coal investments, which total $141 million, and Machin made no mention of them in the Commons. “We do believe climate change is happening and we do believe it is a major risk,” said Machin, who makes $5.9 million a year as CEO.

“For the last 12 years, we’ve been focused on understanding the risk, and it’s challenging. It’s a very, very difficult risk to understand. Every single major investment we make must take into account climate change risks and make sure we understand those risks. What might happen to the company?” Of the board’s $409.6 billion fund, less than 16% or some $63.9 billion, is invested in Canada.

The Environment Ministry was to eliminate all Canadian coal-fired power plants by 2030.