Canadian pension funds are among the institutional investors participating in Climate Engagement Canada, a new initiative to promote a net-zero economy.

The initiative, which is coordinated by several investor networks, is launching with 27 institutional investors that collectively manage more than $3 trillion in assets, according to a press release. The participating pension funds include the Alberta Investment Management Corp., the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, the Investment Management Corp. of Ontario and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.

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Participants will identify approximately 40 of the country’s highest greenhouse gas-emitting corporations and will work collaboratively to engage with these companies to encourage leading practices with respect to climate change risks and opportunities, said the release. The initiative has also leveraged strategic leadership from Barbara Zvan, chief executive officer of the University Pension Plan and a former member of Canada’s expert panel on sustainable finance.

In the release, Zvan said the global Climate Action 100+ program provided the new initiative with “a clear precedent for collaborative shareholder engagement. The question for the expert panel was how to adapt this successful model to the Canadian context to amplify climate ambition and action at home. What [Climate Engagement Canada] delivers is a unified vision from Canada’s financial community and support for our businesses in finding competitive advantage in the transitioning economy.”

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