Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Environment and Climate Change participate

From: Department of Finance Canada

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Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, attended the inaugural meeting of Canada’s new Sustainable Finance Action Council.

The Action Council, chaired by Kathy Bardswick, comprises 25 organizations from Canada’s deposit-taking institutions, insurance companies, and pension funds, which, combined, have more than $10 trillion in assets. Representatives at today’s meeting included CEOs and senior executives. The action council’s mandate is to support the growth of a well-functioning sustainable finance market in Canada and strengthen the mobilization of private capital in support of Canada’s climate goals.

Both the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change acknowledged the global challenges of climate change and the enormity of the accelerating shift towards a low-carbon economy. They stressed the importance of working to design and implement made-in-Canada strategies that seize the opportunities of our low-carbon future and build a strong sustainable finance sector in Canada. Both mentioned the significant investments the federal government has made since October 2020-$53.6 billion-in a green recovery, including investments in world-leading technologies like carbon capture, utilization, and storage, establishing the Clean Fuels Fund, and setting out Canada’s Hydrogen Strategy. They discussed the importance of ensuring Canada’s shift to a low-carbon economy is inclusive-that it brings workers in all regions of Canada along and that building a sustainable economy also means addressing issues of gender and diversity in our economy.

Participants discussed the need to create a financial system that takes climate risks and opportunities into account in both the public and private sectors. The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change both highlighted Canada’s commitment to the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Environment and Climate Change underscored the importance of mobilizing private sector capital towards a sustainable economy; that the private sector is a critical partner in Canada’s work to build a prosperous net-zero economy; and that, by filling the gaps in the sustainable marketplace, the private sector can ensure Canada remains competitive and prosperous well into the future.

The Deputy Prime Minister noted Canada’s international leadership in putting a price on carbon pollution, which was acknowledged at the recent G7 Finance Ministers’ meeting. She emphasized how this policy is helping Canada lead important international policy discussions.

Participating organizations:

  • Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo)
  • ATB Financial
  • Aviva Canada
  • BMO Financial Group
  • British Columbia Investment Management Corporation
  • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
  • Canada Life
  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • CWB Financial Group
  • Desjardins Group
  • Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan
  • Intact Financial Corporation
  • Manulife
  • National Bank Financial
  • Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS)
  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
  • PSP Investments
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Scotiabank
  • Sun Life
  • TD Bank Group
  • The Co-operators Group
  • University Pension Plan
  • Vancity

Also in attendance was the Official Sector Coordinating Group, made up of:

  • Alberta Securities Commission
  • Autorité des marchés financiers
  • Bank of Canada
  • British Columbia Financial Services Authority
  • British Columbia Securities Commission
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Finance Canada
  • Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
  • Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions
  • Ontario Securities Commission

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