Coalition urges even more ambitious climate goals

(Montreal) – The Sortons la Caisse du carbone coalition welcomes the CDPQ’s decision to say goodbye to oil production in its investment portfolio. The announcement comes five years after the launch of a public campaign calling for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) to get out of fossil fuels, and two years after the historic climate march that brought nearly 500,000 people into the streets of Montreal and across Quebec to demand action on the climate emergency.

Sortons la Caisse du carbone also welcomes the other measures announced by the CDPQ, while noting that the Caisse should also turn its back on gas and pipelines and set even more ambitious objectives in terms of greenhouse gas reduction for its portfolio.

The Coalition has worked hard over the past four years to expose the risks of the Caisse’s investments in fossil fuels, both for the climate and for the returns paid to investors. Report after report, the coalition has shown that the losses from this sector are staggering.

“In the case of oil production, the Caisse listened to the markets, to science, and to the desire of Quebecers that their money not be used to fuel the climate crisis. The message to other funds and Canadian banks is clear: if the Caisse can do it, you can and should do it too,” said the coalition’s member organizations unanimously.

The Caisse adopted a new 2030 target of a 60% reduction in carbon intensity per dollar invested relative to 2017. However, the Sortons la Caisse du carbone  coalition remains critical of intensity targets that can be met through growth of the economy rather than through actual reduction in absolute emissions. The atmosphere has an absolute capacity to contain carbon, so our targets must also be absolute. The absence of an intermediate target for 2025 also leaves doubt about the real speed at which this decarbonisation effort will unfold. 

“The Fund needs to set a GHG reduction target for 2025, and it needs to realise that after reducing its intensity by 38% in three years, it is not ambitious enough to aim for an additional reduction of only 22% in 10 years. After all, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – which started to reduce its intensity two years after the CDPQ – has set a target for 2025 (-45%), and has a goal of reducing its carbon intensity by 67% by 2030, 7% more than Caisse. The Caisse’s managers must understand that the climate emergency requires boldness and ambition and that Quebecers expect even more from their institutions,” said the members of Sortons la Caisse du carbone.

The coalition also welcomes the commitment to invest $54 billion in green assets by 2025. However, the coalition also stressed the need to quickly establish a plan to also get out of pipelines and fossil gas, a major source of emissions which the Caisse incorrectly considers to be a “transition” fuel, contrary to what the International Energy Agency (IEA) states in its latest report on net zero. According to the IEA, “no new oil and natural gas fields are necessary in the path to net-zero.”

“After getting rid of oil production, the Caisse will have to quickly do the same with the pipelines that transport it and with fossil gas. We will continue our dialogue and pressure on CDPQ to show even more climate leadership. For example, the Caisse recently became the largest majority shareholder in Energir, Quebec’s largest gas distributor. We look forward to seeing how the Caisse can demonstrate that Energir will meet the targets set by science, including for gas distribution volumes,” the members concluded.

The Sortons la Caisse du carbone coalition includes Greenpeace Canada, SNAP Quebec, The Climate Reality Project Canada, the Association pour la voix étudiante au Québec (AVEQ), the David Suzuki Foundation, Recycle ta Caisse, Climate Justice Montreal (CWM), Leap Montreal, Mobilisation environnement Ahuntsic-Cartierville (MEAC), Eau Secours! and other citizen groups and unions.


For more information, please contact:

Laura Bergamo, Communications Officer, Greenpeace, (438) 928-5237, [email protected]

Sébastien Collard, Coalition’s spokesperson, (418) 575-6147 [email protected]  

Diego Creimer, Government Relations, SNAP Quebec, (514) 999-6743 [email protected]