Action Needed! Submit a question to the OTPP Annual Meeting

The Educators Climate Alliance needs your help.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Annual Meeting is next week – on April 9 in Toronto. Questions may be submitted by Tuesday, April 7.

http://www.otpp.com/373

We want to use this opportunity to put pressure on the Pension Board to divest from fossil fuels. To do this we are asking for our supporters to submit questions to the pension board on this theme. (We have sample questions below.) This is easy to do by clicking on the link below – cut and pasted from the OTPP website:


Ask a question

There are three ways to submit a question for the annual meeting.

  1. Ask a question on the meeting registration form.
  2. If you don’t plan to attend the meeting, or if you think of a question after you complete your registration, you can submit a question here. Please send your question by Tuesday, April 7. Indicate that it is for the annual meeting and tell us whether you are a working or retired teacher.
  3. You can ask a question in person at the meeting. If you plan to do so, please consult the Q&A Procedures.

Here are some questions you could submit. Questions should be fairly specific and with limited preamble (due to time constraints). You can cut and paste any of the questions to submit it.

  1. The UN, IMF, World Bank, Mark Carney and many others are saying fossil fuels are risky investments. At the same time, fossil-free versions of major indices (TSX60, FTSE, S&P 500) have outperformed standard ones in recent years. Given this, and since the OTPP has subscribed to the UN’s Principles of Responsible Investing, is the OTPP considering phasing out investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies over the next 5 years and if not, why not?
  2. Has there been an evaluation of the potential impact of climate change and the increase in extreme weather events on all of our other investments? Is it wise to continue investing in an industry which is putting all of our other investments at risk?
  3. Given that scientific consensus states that to avoid catastrophic climate change, we have a carbon budget of about 500 gigatons which will be used up in 15 years, how do the advisors suggest we quickly address the issue of climate change which puts all our investments at risk?

BACKGROUND

We know the fossil-free versions of popular indexes have actually outperformed the standard ones over the past 5 or 10 years. Specifically, this is true of:

the S&P 500:

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/11/30/seattle-city-report-fossil-fuel-free-fund-outperforms-standard-sp-500/

“From a performance perspective, the S&P 500 screened against the CU200 outperforms the standard S&P 500 by approximately 30 basis points over 10 years ended May 2014.”

the TSX60:

http://350ottawa.org/tsx-better-without-oil/

the FTSE:

https://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/2/16/energy-markets/divestment-outperforms-conventional-portfolios-past-5-years?utm_content=buffer8b15e

Mark Carney: most fossil fuel reserves can’t be burned:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/13/mark-carney-fossil-fuel-reserves-burned-carbon-bubble

From the World Bank website (Jim Yong Kim):

http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/tackling-climate-change-our-kids

From the World Bank website (Rachel Kyte):

http://blogs.worldbank.org/climatechange/resilience-right-here-right-now

http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/longer-world-waits-address-climate-change-higher-cost

Thank you so much for your help!! Ideas change the world! Please share this message with anyone you think will help.

In solidarity,

Andrea Loken, Adam Davidson-Harden, Kevin Bowers, and David Mathers of the Educators Climate Alliance

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