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Canada’s largest bank is over a quarter of the way to reaching its $100-billion target for sustainable financing by 2025, according to its report on climate-related financial disclosure. “As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we recognize that we have a role to play in accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy and in mitigating the risks associated with climate change,” the report reads. About 4.6 per cent of RBC’s credit risk exposure in 2019 carbon-related. (The Logic)

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Talking point: RBC has been carbon neutral since 2017, having rolled out emission-reduction programs and offset its carbon output by purchasing credits. That same year, it started considering climate change as a risk to its business and began tracking and disclosing it across its portfolio. Disclosure is now the norm among financial institutions in Canada—all the Big Six banks, along with the biggest pension funds, support the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), a global standard for tracking and reporting climate risk on businesses. Still, many firms have been slow to meaningfully change their practices to address climate change. The TCFD’s 2019 status update found just 25 per cent of companies that committed to the guidelines complied with more than five of its 11 recommended disclosures. RBC, for its part, has set targets for five of the nine climate-related metrics it reported for 2019.

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The Bank of England governor, certainly among the Northwest Territories’ most famous exports, will be tasked with sensitizing the world’s business and financial sectors to the dangers of climate change—and to the economic benefits of going green. (Financial Post)

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Talking point: Carney and Michael Bloomberg can take some credit for the mainstreaming of climate-focused sustainable finance. In 2015, the Bank of England governor and the billionaire former New York City mayor spearheaded a global initiative called the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Its landmark 2017 report laid out 15 climate-related metrics—like emissions levels, water and land use—for organizations to measure and report on, and included recommendations on how to gauge climate risk. Last June, the Canadian government released its own report based on Carney’s initiative. His appointment takes effect next year, though Carney said he may stay on as governor should Britain’s exit from the European Union be as challenging as many have predicted.

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The UPP was established on January 1 as a jointly sponsored pension plan meant to “enhance the long-term sustainability of Ontario university pension plans.” It will replace five pension plans worth approximately $10 billion in assets in place at Queen’s University, the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto, with plans to serve other Ontario universities. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Before taking the job, Zvan was the chief risk officer at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, a position she left in February after almost 25 years with the fund. She was one of four members of a federal expert panel on sustainable finance that was created in 2018. The panel—chaired by Tiff Macklem, now Bank of Canada governor—delivered a final report last summer, urging Canadian businesses to enforce standards for tracking and reporting on how climate change could impact businesses and make routine climate disclosures to investors. According to a UPP spokesperson, there are approximately $25 billion in assets across 32 pension plans up for grabs in the Ontario university sector. UPP still needs to be approved by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario and the Canada Revenue Agency. It expects the fund to be operational by July 1, 2021.