On Wednesday, we told you that Duke Energy is an environmental and financial liability. Yesterday, one of Duke’s cooling damns breached. Isn’t it time that the Canada Pension Plan got our money out of the company?
We took a major step towards addressing climate change when Prime Minister Trudeau announced the federal government will impose a carbon price. Friends of the Earth Canada appreciates the courage and leadership needed to impose a carbon price, but we all know more has to be done.
One the easiest things the PM could do is put our individual investments in the Canada Pension Plan on a climate responsible path – you know, the deductions taken every pay period are your investment in the CPP. The CPP Investment Board now has nearly $300 billion of our money invested. Earlier this year, I told you about the CPPIB buying EnCana’s fracking operation in Colorado. Since then, on your behalf, CPP has bought an oil company ($975 million) in Saskatchewan and a pipeline in Alberta ($1.4 billion).
You should also know CPPIB has large investments in more than 30 polluting coal companies at a time when countries around the world are phasing out power plants including Canada.
Some, like Duke Energy, are among the most polluting companies in the world. It was responsible for a major leak from a coal ash pond into the Dan River in North Carolina in 2014.
The company has admitted it was negligent. It’s paying a $102 million fine. It’s undertaken a $3 billion cleanup and is facing numerous law suits. Yet, the Canada Pension Plan continues to be a major investor.
We’re raising Duke not just because it’s a polluting coal company. The fine, cleanup costs and lawsuits make it a financial risk. The influential Norwegian pension fund agrees. It took the unusual step of publicly announcing it is pulling its money out Duke Energy for causing “unacceptable” environmental damage.
I’ve written to Mark Machin, the CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, asking him what he plans to do about Duke Energy. You can ask him too – use the text provided or customize it for your own message.
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