This briefing note was produced by Oil Sands Divestment, to download or view it in a PDF format click here.
The BCI Investment Management Investment Corporation (BCI) invest most of BC public sector pension funds – in total about $153 billion Canadian, which, if you’re a pension plan member, is your money. The BC Public Sector Pension Plans Act mandates that BCI has a fiduciary duty to invest in the best financial interests of the plan members.
Is BCI getting the best possible return for its clients?
The answer is probably no.
An analysis of BCI’s public equity holdings from the end of March 2010 to the end of March 2021 using S&P Capital IQ database was carried out to measure the impact that divestment of all energy stocks would have on the cumulative fund return. The 11 year cumulative return of BCI was 250%; without energy stocks this would have been 297% . This means that:
By not divesting from fossil fuels in 2010 BCI may have lost a total of $17,876 per plan member .
That’s a lot of money for someone living on a pension.
There is overwhelming evidence that continuing to invest in fossil fuels is a money loser and entails significant ongoing risk as the world moves away from fossil fuels towards renewables, and fossil fuels continue to be a highly volatile investment. We don’t know for sure as BCI doesn’t make public all its investments, but BCI could have up to $10 billion invested in fossil fuels. So, by continuing to hold fossil fuel stocks BCI is likely not meeting its fiduciary responsibility.
There’s also plenty of evidence to show that it’s quite easy to divest from fossil fuels, and make more money on renewables. And continued investment in oil, gas and coal is fuelling the climate crisis, which is only going to lead to more heat domes, smoky skies, floods and forest fires.
There’s much more evidence on why fossil fuels are such a bad investment, and why it makes financial sense to divest now and invest in renewables. You can find evidence from 16 research papers, studies and reports, including by major investment firms such as Blackrock and world leaders in pension fund research, here.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Tell BCI to divest through this site.
2. Lobby your union pension committee through this site.
3. Tell your fellow pension fund holders what is happening with their pensions, by sending them this page and these details.
4. Subscribe to Oil Sands Divestment for further information and updates on the campaign.
 Smart Prosperity Institute et al (2021) Canadian Pensions Dashboard for Responsible Investing. A Navigational Tool to Increase Ambition for a Sustainable, Inclusive Future. And information from Corporate Knights. https://institute.smartprosperity.ca/sites/default/files/Pensions-Dashboard.pdf
 Based on a loss of almost $16 billion, and 690,000 plan members as of March 31 2021.