Investors and owners fuel change towards low carbon future

“The first two are new technologies and new players. Those are the disruptors again, the real disruptors. They are making renewable energy sources much more viable, and we are already seeing that in better battery storage, in better and cheaper electric cars, all of which will have a huge change on the oil and gas sector.” – Kevin Thomas

by John Devine

Kevin Thomas

Kevin Thomas

Responsible for delivering a secure and adequate retirement income stream to their members, Canada’s big public sector pension plans are also ideally positioned to play a key role in limiting and reversing the impact of climate change.
They, and other large institutional investors, can do this by engaging and influencing companies they own and/or invest in that fuel climate change, Kevin Thomas, director of shareholder engagement at SHARE, told an audience of pension managers at the Conference Board of Canada’s Pension Summit 2016.
“We are owners of these companies and we want them to succeed and be sustainable over the long term. And we have power to do something about that,” he said, adding engagement is a useful tool in moving companies towards a low carbon economy and future, as envisioned by the Paris Agreement which entered into force on Nov. 4, 2016.
As of early October, 118 of 197 participants of the Paris convention had ratified the agreement, including Canada. It commits countries to develop strategies to keep the rise in global temperature this century to well below two degrees Celsius “above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” according to the agreement.
Further, the “agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.”
Progress is being made in these efforts, Thomas told his audience, adding that the world was changing, even as he spoke, and that it’s a time to be hopeful about the continuation of that change.

“I believe very strongly that conversations … between asset owners – pension funds and other large institutional investors – are critical to making that change.”

During his presentation, he talked about how climate change will impact investments, including in the oil and gas industry, and how pension funds should deal with that ­– as well as the value of engagement rather than divestment.
Although words like disrupter are commonly used to describe new trends and developments, their meaning and significance can get lost through their overuse, said Thomas. Climate change, however, is a real disruptive force to economies, investments and the environment, and demands attention, he said.
It’s important “for economists, pension plan trustees and investment professionals to understand real disruption and to be able to distinguish between real disruptive forces and what might be just overstated hype … things that actually have an impact on our economy versus things that don’t.”
How big an impact depends on how quickly the transition to a low carbon economy is made, and that calculation is important to understand, according to Thomas. Climate change is going to “cause damage to our investments,” including real assets subject to environmental disasters like floods, droughts, and fires.
Perhaps more difficult to manage is the potential investment loss related to assets that get stranded … fossil fuel resources that can’t be developed if the Paris targets are to be met. And there’s still a lot of it in the ground.
“The disconnect is that if we want to meet that (Paris) target of 1.5 to two per cent warming, we can’t burn all of … those resources. Those assets cannot be sold and used.
“The rough estimate is that proven oil, coal and gas reserves are about three times the size of the burnable amount we (can use) to keep to our global carbon budget … and keep warming to within two degrees.”
If the Paris targets are met, then fossil fuels, investments that “are on the books now,” become stranded assets because at some point there’s no point in developing them, said Thomas, adding there are other “pathways” for those assets to become stranded – less reliant than on governments actually meeting their commitments.
“The first two are new technologies and new players. Those are the disruptors again, the real disruptors. They are making renewable energy sources much more viable, and we are already seeing that in better battery storage, in better and cheaper electric cars, all of which will have a huge change on the oil and gas sector.”
Indeed, if you follow the money it could be said a lot of investment has already made up its mind about the reality of climate change, leaving the conversation about whether it is real or not, caused by human activity or not, behind. Last year, said Thomas, was the first in which more money was invested in renewable energy than fossil fuels – “a huge change.”
Other developments that suggest a reason to be hopeful for a low carbon environment include exceeding earlier projections for the development of renewable energy, and countries getting more of their energy from those renewables. Germany, for instance, gets about 30 per cent of its energy from renewable sources, said Thomas, up from six per cent 15 years ago.
“The world’s top carbon polluter, China, is actually on course to meet and actually exceed its carbon reduction targets for 2020 and 2030. Those changes are happening already.”
Statistics, he continued, from the International Energy Agency, show that the growth in greenhouse gas emission flattened in 2014 and 2015. Although this has happened before, it was connected to global economic downturns, like the Great Recession. The difference this time is that emissions remained flat even as growth occurred globally: 3.4 per cent in 2014 and 3.1 per cent in 2015.
“And the IEA actually credited that to two things: growth in renewables and improvements in energy efficiency.”
Haste is important in the transition to a low-carbon future, cautioned Thomas, who cited a Mercer report, Investing In a Time of Climate Change, which explored the impact of climate change on large institutional investors by developing four different warming scenarios of two degrees to four degrees. It found that renewable energy has a large upside potential under all the scenarios, while the coal sector, for example, could lose up to 74 per cent of its value in the next 35 years.
“That’s why it’s important we transition to a lower carbon economy sooner rather than later.”
Canada’s public sector pension plans are already incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into their investments decisions, with a commitment to long-term sustainability of assets and the promotion of responsible investing (RI) principles.
And although some investors talk about divestment of fossil fuels, Thomas continued that engagement could have a powerful impact.
“What it really comes down to is institutional investors speaking with companies, using their voice as active owners, to change the way those companies operate and bring them along in that transition.”

This story originally appeared on ARIA (Alliance for Adequate Retirement Income)

1 person likes this post.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Residents living on what are called secondary routes, essentially residential streets, should be getting some relief from snow-covered roads.
The City of Barrie started to send out residential snow plows at midnight, Wednesday (when the overnight on-street parking ban came into effect), to clear slush and snow from residential streets. With the warmer temperatures, the snow is softening up and will allow the City to remove slush from the roadway before it freezes, a City spokesperson said.
The Overnight Parking By-law means on-street parking is not permitted from 3–6 a.m. within the Downtown Business Improvement Area, and on other city streets from 12:01–7 a.m., Dec. 1 through March 31, to allow plows to clear streets of snow and so that large emergency vehicles can get down the street.
The City has developed planned levels of winter road service to for weather conditions in Barrie. A combination of City-owned trucks and contracted units provide snow-plowing services to Barrie roads through our Priority and Secondary route system. For more information about snow removal, visit www.barrie.ca/snow.

Be the first to like.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Barrie police seek three suspects in regards to a home invasion, Tues., Jan. 3, in which, police say, three people forced their way into a city residence.
Police report that the complainant called then shortly after 8:10 p.m. to say a female and two males rang her doorbell, then forced their way past her into the house when she answered the door. The group demanded drugs and money and were looking for a specific person, although that person was not in the residence at the time.
The first suspect is described as: female, black; about 20; 5’9” with a thin build; wearing a grey toque, dark hoody, dark quarter-length jacket, dark jeans with multiple intentional tears.
The second suspect is described as: male, black; 25 to 40, 5’6” to 5’8”, thin build; wearing a dark toque, dark clothing, running shoes.
The third suspect is described as: male, black; 25 to 40; 6’, medium build; wearing a dark toque, dark clothing, running shoes.
No one was physically injured in the incident and police believe the incident was targeting a person residing in the basement. The investigation is in its early stages with little information obtained on the persons involved, police report.
They are continuing their investigation and ask anyone who may have information to please contact the Barrie Police Criminal Investigative Division at 705-725-7025 ext. 2129. Any information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at www.tipsubmit.com

Be the first to like.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The Barrie police K-9 unit helped in the location of the suspect sought in an incident at a Hock Shop, police report.
Wednesday, a male disguised with a ski mask entered the shop on Maple Avenue, just after 7:15 p.m. Once inside, it’s alleged the suspect lunged at the employee and a physical altercation ensued. A second employee, who had been outside when the intrusion happened, heard the commotion and went inside. The employee attempted to intervene and called 911, which resulted in the suspect quickly fleeing the area on foot, police report.
Police arrived moments later, which resulted in K-9 locating a bag nearby which contained the jacket and gloves that had been worn by the suspect. Further investigation determined the assault did not occur as a result of robbery, and that the victim and suspect were known to each other.
Police located the suspect on Penetang Street, and a 35-year-old Barrie male was arrested and charged with Assault and Disguise with Intent, police report.
He was released on a promise to appear with conditions and will appear in a Barrie court in February.

Be the first to like.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Click to view latest promotion

click to view latest promotion

Over the holidays, I’ve been going through my photos from the past year. With a little time to reflect on the year that was, and hoping to bring a bit of good news in a year with too many depressing headlines, I decided a top ten list was in order.
Herewith, as we close out the year, are ten things worth remembering from 2016 in Barrie (in no particular order).
1. Industrial building boom: We set a record this year for the value of new industrial building permits issued, with new manufacturing plants being built in Barrie by Innovative Automation, BurgerGruppe, and Galaxy Plastics among others, and a huge new mixed industrial development of 200,000SF at Veterans and Mapleview.
The City also sold almost all of its remaining industrial land.
2. Base Borden turned 100: Celebrations throughout the month of June culminated with a moving ceremony on June 9th at which the Borden Memorial Wall was dedicated by Prime Minister Trudeau. Quarterbacked by Honourary Colonel Jamie Massie, and paid for by donors from Barrie, the Wall and the associated 100th anniversary celebrations demonstrated the proud military history and the ties between the Base and Barrie.
3. An unprecedented real estate market: Homes in Barrie increased in value on average by more than 20 per cent in 2016. Though it was great news for anyone selling, buyers are finding affordability in Barrie tougher and tougher – so while this is a sign of economic strength, it makes affordable housing an even greater need.
4. And some new affordable housing was built: On Brooks St. in Allandale, the County and the City partnered to build a new rent-geared-to-income building for seniors with 43 units, and the roll out of the City’s other housing initiatives produced a total of 121 new affordable units through August.
5. Ferndale Drive finally got finished: The “missing link” on Ferndale, between Dunlop and Tiffin – the worst road in Barrie in the CAA survey – was finally finished and opened.
6. We’re entrepreneurs!: Barrie was named the third most entrepreneurial City in Canada by the Financial Post, reflecting strength in business formation and a business-friendly local climate. Barrie was 55th in the rankings five years ago.
7. The Sea Serpent surfaces: Barrie got a new landmark on the waterfront as Ron Baird’s Sea Serpent joined the Spirit Catcher in Heritage Park.
8. Willard’s Trail got moving: A small project but one of my favourites, the first exhibits on the Waterfront Heritage Walking Trail were installed this year. The brainchild of former Mayor Willard Kinzie, the trail features a bronze cast of Willard’s hand at its far-east end – where you can “high-five” our former mayor to celebrate finishing a beautiful and educational waterfront walk. More exhibits will come in 2017.
9. Courage for Gord: Gord Downie brought renewed attention to Canada’s indigenous peoples and conditions in remote communities, speaking out before, during, and after an incredible concert in Kingston on August 20th that was viewed by Canadians across the country – and by thousands on an outdoor screen in Heritage Park (thanks to the Barrie Film Festival).
10. The Push for Change continued: Barrie’s Joe Roberts inspired people across the country as he pushed a shopping cart more than 4,000 km to raise awareness for homelessness, arriving in Barrie on Dec 27th, on his way to Victoria. And here at home, champions in our own community pushed for change to improve the lives of those who need a hand. Their own push for change will continue in 2017.
So I’ll close with a special thank you to all those who in 2016 worked overnight at Out of the Cold, served meals at the Bayside Mission, gave out sandwiches from the Busby Centre’s outreach van, or volunteered their time for a good cause, regardless of what that cause was. On behalf of your community – thank you for what you do.
The best to you and your family for a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2017.

Be the first to like.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

City road crews will be moving snow from downtown streets starting 10 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 29) to prepare the area for the Downtown Countdown on New Year’s Eve. This operation will involve road closures, which will be coordinated by city staff.
All vehicles should be removed from metered parking in the impacted areas by 6 p.m. tonight (Dec. 29). Vehicles that are not removed by this time will be ticketed and towed. The areas impacted include the following streets (or sections of streets) and City lots in the downtown area:
• On-street parking Collier St., from Owen to Poyntz streets.
• On-street parking Mulcaster St., from Worsley to Dunlop streets.
• City parking lot off Mulcaster between Collier and Dunlop streets.

Be the first to like.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Following up on a call from a personal support worker, Barrie police arrived at a Sunnidale Road house to find its 97-year-old resident “in bed terrified and the house ransacked,” police report.
Detectives believe the responsible person(s) entered around 4:45 a.m. by the breaching the rear door and window. Once inside, the house was ransacked with considerable damage to many rooms. The female resident was not physically hurt, however she was quite shaken, police report.
Police are continuing their investigation at this time and wish for anyone who may have information to please contact Detective Frye of Barrie Police Criminal Investigative Services at 705-725-7025, ext. 2793 or email at jmfrye@barriepolice.ca.
Any information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at www.tipsubmit.com

Be the first to like.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Click to view latest promotion

click to view latest promotion

A lost pooch is home safe and sound Thursday after being found and rescued by Barrie police.
City police were called to the area of Duckworth Street and Highway 400 after receiving a report of a dog on the loose in the area. One witness advised that the dog had been hit by a car possibly on the onramp to the 400. Police located the dog running northbound along the highway but were unable to reach it before it jumped over an embankment and into 60-foot culvert filled with water, police report.
The officers waded in the water to retrieve the dog as its owners arrived on scene to identify her as the missing Zara. It appears the dog had gone missing from the owners’ residence late last night and had been running free throughout the night.
Officers assisted taking Zara for a checkup and it appears there were no injuries obtained from the vehicle or the night of adventure. The rescuers thank all concerned citizens who assisted in locating Zara and getting her safely home.

Be the first to like.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Barrie city police and paramedics responded to three separate drug overdoses on Friday, over a three-hour window.
Two of the overdoses, police report, resulted from ingesting prescription narcotics not intended for the user, and one was an individual attempting to manage pain by self medicating with heroin.
“All three incidents proved nearly fatal,” police report.
Two Barrie men, 27 and 39, were located without vital signs and were revived by paramedics. The third person, a 38-year-old Barrie woman, was attended to prior to going unconscious as her mother located her and was able to call for help.
Police across Ontario are encountering a surge in drug-related deaths stemming from the non-prescribed use of Oxycodone and Fentanyl – two extremely potent prescription narcotics meant to manage acute and chronic pain and often as palliative care.
“They are extremely lethal when taken improperly. It is very hard to predict how a body will react to any amount of these drugs, when not under a doctor’s supervision and experimentation is often deadly,” police report.

In other police news:

Police were called to the area of Lockhart and Saunders roads in Barrie’s south end industrial complex for reports of a single motor vehicle colliding into a snow bank.
On arrival police had to break into the vehicle to free the driver, a 31-year-old Barrie woman from the car. The driver was unconscious but breathing and transported to The Royal Victoria Regional Health Center for assessment.
The female was treated for only minor injuries and police investigated her for impaired driving. The woman was determined to have over four times the legal limit of alcohol in her blood and was charged accordingly, police report. She was released at the hospital with an appearance notice for a future court date.

Be the first to like.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Barrie city police are investigating the theft of six large empty beer kegs from a gated compound at the rear of Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill on Mapleview Drive West.
On Monday, Dec. 19, just after 4 a.m., a suspect gained entry to the compound and made off with the kegs in an unknown vehicle. The suspect is described thusly: Male, white, medium build, wearing a grey pom-pom toque, black jacket with a white stripe, blue jeans and running shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to Constable Barkley of the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025, ext.2609, kbarkley@barriepolice.ca , or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online.

Be the first to like.

Share

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Sloan rings in the Barrie new year

December 21, 2016 arts and entertainment

Sloan will headline the City’s 19th annual Downtown Countdown event on New Year’s Eve. “In partnership with Rock 95 and 107.5 Kool FM, the City of Barrie is excited to welcome Canadian rock band Sloan to headline the Downtown Countdown,” Arin Donnelly, Community Event Coordinator, is quoted saying. “Sloan has been nominated for nine Juno […]

Share
Read the full article →

Foodie program sprouts in Barrie

December 21, 2016 municipal news

The City of Barrie has partnered with Georgian College and the Agri-Food Management Institute to offer a new business development program for food entrepreneurs, called SPROUT. Registration is now open for course, which will run for 12 weeks starting in March 2017. “Food businesses represent a high proportion of small businesses in our city,” Zvi […]

Share
Read the full article →

Police seek suspects in assault

December 21, 2016 Police roundup

Barrie city police continue to investigate the assault of a 56-year-old Barrie man, in the downtown core on Saturday night. Police received a call after concerned citizens assisted a victim of a robbery to the bus terminal after a seemingly unprovoked attack, police report. Shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday, the victim, police report, was walking […]

Share
Read the full article →

PSI offers Grassroots Soccer Program

November 21, 2016 municipal news

Premier Soccer Institute (PSI), a Barrie-based soccer development academy, is planning a Grassroots Soccer Program starting Spring 2017 for players within the U3-U8 ages. “The institute establishes a high-level performance environment for players and coaches to achieve and nurture excellence and operates on the foundation of ‘nothing without great effort’ and correspondingly, students who participate […]

Share
Read the full article →

TIFT brings the music to streets of Barrie

September 13, 2016 arts and entertainment

If you happen to be in downtown Barrie the next couple of weeks, going about your business, don’t be surprised if song and dance breaks out near you. Not to be concerned, though, as it’s all perfectly natural and planned, a case of street theatre brought to you by Talk is Free Theatre (TIFT). From […]

Share
Read the full article →

PSI hosts EPL’s Stoke City for camp

September 8, 2016 Local sports scene

Tryout dates for Premier Soccer Institute announced The Premier Soccer Institute (PSI) has exciting development news to share. Recently, coaches for the English Premier League’s Stoke City were in Barrie for an identification camp, hosted by PSI. Led by Stoke City coach Aaron Duce, the camp was designed to identify players qualified to participate in […]

Share
Read the full article →

Time to walk a mile in her shoes

August 24, 2016 municipal news

The 7th Annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes is scheduled for Sept. 17 at Heritage Park, and this year organizers are hoping to raise $30,000 to benefit the Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie. It’s said that to understand another’s reality, one has to first walk in their shoes. That’s what organizers are asking […]

Share
Read the full article →

Life’s no longer a beach for city lifeguards

August 16, 2016 municipal news

It’s an annual sign of summer’s pending end. As of Monday, August 22, lifeguards will no longer be staffing Barrie’s beaches, although the buoy lines will remain in the water until after Labour Day. The City of Barrie and the Canadian Red Cross teamed up once again to offer the PFD Loan Service. So far […]

Share
Read the full article →

TIFT’s Music Man takes to the streets

August 3, 2016 arts and entertainment

The streets of downtown Barrie are about to become boulevards of song and dance when Talk is Free Theatre brings The Music Man to town. The city by the bay will be transformed into River City, Iowa, from Sept. 14 to Oct. 2 for the production of Meredith Willson’s musical. It will feature more than […]

Share
Read the full article →

TIFT takes Tales on the road, to Iqaluit

July 17, 2016 arts and entertainment

To celebrate its 15th Anniversary season, Talk Is Free Theatre (TIFT) is taking the show on the road – all the way to Iqaluit, Nunavut, where it will showcase its production of Tales of an Urban Indian. When it first ran in 2009, Tales turned heads with it production, but also because it was performed […]

Share
Read the full article →

Eco-focused Blue Flag flies at marina

July 5, 2016 municipal news

The Blue Flag is flying at the city marina, the first and only marina on Lake Simcoe to have the distinction. Mayor Jeff Lehman and city staff helped to officially raise the Blue Flag at the marina today, the second year in a row that it has been recognized with the Blue Flag designation; this […]

Share
Read the full article →

Shear Park features new inclusive playground

July 5, 2016 municipal news

Shear Park has a new inclusive playground, just in time for summer vacation. The playground has been completely redesigned thanks in part to the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund. The new inclusive playground features paved walkway routes from the parking lot to an elevated ramp leading onto the playground, which is surfaced with accessible […]

Share
Read the full article →

Barrie prepares to celebrate Canada Day

June 30, 2016 municipal news

Canada Day celebrations return to Barrie for the country’s 149th birthday, and the city is preparing a party to mark the day, and also the 100th anniversary of Canadian Women’s Suffrage, and the 175th birthday of Sir Wilfred Laurier. The event will feature family activities, vendors, live entertainment and more funded in part by the […]

Share
Read the full article →

The Music Man kicks off comedy fest

June 27, 2016 arts and entertainment

Mirth and merriment will be on order in Barrie from Thursday, Sept. 12 to Saturday, Oct. 1 as Talk is Free Theatre (TIFT) presents the fourth annual Barrie International Comedy festival. The festival kicks off on Sept. 12 with the presentation of The Music Man, in which “Barrie becomes River City, Iowa in this innovative […]

Share
Read the full article →

Barrie Jazz and Blues venues and artists

June 13, 2016 arts and entertainment

The 21th edition of the now venerable KOOL FM Barrie Jazz and Blues Festival is underway and continues through to Monday, June 20. Along the way jazz and blues will resonate from venues around the city. City Scene Barrie is pleased to provide this comprehensive guide to the festival. – THE KOOL FM BARRIE JAZZ […]

Share
Read the full article →