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Canada Pension Plan touts climate leadership while investing millions in Chinese coal

When confronted on the Board’s investments in Chinese coal, representatives of the CPP would not comment.

While touting itself as a leader against climate change, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) has invested millions in Chinese coal. 

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the CPP Investment Board holds $1 million worth of stock in the Chinese coal distributor Jiangsu Guoxin Corp. Ltd. The Board also has $3 million worth of shares invested in China Coal Energy Co. Ltd. as well as $42 million in the state-owned coal mining company China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd. 

CPP CEO Mark Machin reiterated the Board’s commitment to fighting climate change before the House of Commons finance committee on Thursday. 

“Climate change and the gradual transition to the low-carbon environment will continue to influence the world we live in,” Machin told the committee. 

“Every single major investment we make must take into account climate change risks and make sure we understand those risks.”

When confronted by Blacklock’s on the Board’s investments in Chinese coal, representatives of the CPP would not comment.

“It’s a decline to comment from us,” said spokesperson Darryl Konynenbelt.

This is not the first large-scale investment in Chinese companies the CPP has been scrutinized for. 

The latest filings by the Board show that the CPP is one of the largest stakeholders in Tencent Holdings Ltd. 

Tencent, the company that produces the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat, has been accused of aiding the Chinese government in political censorship and surveillance.

The CPP owns approximately $3 billion worth of shares in the company, despite its alleged complicity in human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese government used the messaging app to prevent the truth about the virus from spreading. As of January, WeChat was found to be actively blocking criticism of the and clamping down on whistleblowers seeking to share information.

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