In April 2015, CPJ joined over 50 religious congregations and faith groups from across Canada in writing a letter to federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver, asking him to put a price on carbon emissions. The letter was organized by SHARE Canada.
The group of religious institutional investors have combined assets of more than $2 billion. The letter asked that the Government of Canada establish mechanisms to set a clear, reliable and effective price for carbon emissions with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting catastrophic climate change.
10 April 2015
The Honourable Joe Oliver
Minister of Finance
Government of Canada
House of Commons
Dear Mr. Oliver;
We are writing to you on behalf of 48 institutional investors with combined assets under management of more than $2 billion to ask that the Government of Canada establish mechanisms to set a clear, reliable and effective price for carbon emissions with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting catastrophic climate change.
Caring for God’s creation is fundamental to all of our faith traditions. We believe we have a responsibility to care for ourselves and each other, our life together in community, and the natural environment that sustains us. Care for the economy and care for the environment are not separate concerns. Both are integral to caring for God’s creation.
As those entrusted with the financial health of funds held in trust for our faith communities and the retirement incomes of those who serve them, we understand the responsibility to act now in ways that sustain the economic health of our communities, the employment this supports, and the environment upon which the long-term viability and growth of our financial investments depends.
Establishing a price for carbon emissions serves all of these ends. Establishing a clear, reliable and effective price for carbon emissions will provide certainty for Canadian businesses both in their current operations and in planning future investments in our country. Similarly, Canadian investors that rely on the accuracy of business analysis and planning for our own longer-term projections and investment decisions need the certainty created by a national mechanism for carbon pricing. Without the certainty created by a carbon pricing mechanism, businesses and investors cannot depend on longer-term projections and have weaker market incentives for reducing the carbon intensity of their investments and allocating capital that enhance the sustainability and reliability of Canada’s energy production.
In this instance, one of the primary measures needed to address the long-term sustainability of the companies and economy in which our funds invest is the same as one that our country needs to address the challenge of climate change: a clear price on carbon emissions.
Science tells us that if we fail to act now, climate change will have disastrous impacts on our country. Our role as trustees and administrators of the financial resources of our religious communities tells us we cannot afford to ignore these impacts. And our faith tells us that we have a responsibility to act.
We urge you to establish mechanisms to set a clear, reliable and effective price for carbon emissions as part of your upcoming budget announcement.
Thank you for your time and attention. Please direct any correspondence regarding this letter to Peter Chapman, Executive Director, SHARE, telephone 604 695 2020 or by email ac.erahs@nampahcp.
[See a full list of signatures here]
cc Thomas Mulcair, Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada
Justin Trudeau, Leader, Liberal Party of Canada
Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada