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CNW: Canada’s oil and gas sector is slow to take action on their climate change responsibilities

Ethical Funds report evaluates how oil and gas companies are responding to climate change

VANCOUVER, March 13 /CNW/ – Canada’s oil and gas companies have failed to take action to mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions, with only two Canadian companies responding appropriately to the risks presented by climate change, according to The Ethical Funds Company.

Despite the existence of global leaders in Canada’s oil patch, only Shell Canada and Suncor are well positioned to function in a more carbon-neutral environment reads the latest Sustainability Perspectives research paper from The Ethical Funds Company: “Head in the Oil Sands? Climate Change Risks in Canada’s Oil and Gas Sector.” The full paper can be viewed at www.ethicalfunds.com.

“We believe that all facets of society – government, corporations, and citizens – can and should play a role in tackling climate change, but the response of the oil and gas sector is crucial,” said Bob Walker, Vice President, Sustainability at The Ethical Funds Company. “With effective action and the right market incentives, this sector can be viewed, not as the enemy, but as a key ally in tackling climate change.”

The Head in the Oil Sands research paper analyzed 48 Canadian oil and gas companies and included two global leaders on climate change, BP plc and Royal Dutch Shell, to establish an international best practices benchmark. Companies were assessed on their management systems, action plans, performance, and transparency to determine the extent which they are preparing for the future. Only four of the 50 companies assessed, including two of the 48 Canadian companies, were found to be responding appropriately to the risks presented by climate change.

The Ethical Funds Company report concludes by offering practical guidance to both companies at risk and investors seeking to integrate climate change performance metrics into their investment decision-making: ‘Companies need to take immediate action steps to reduce their risk exposure, while investors need to support companies taking these steps and provide appropriate incentives to those which have yet to take action’.

“We hope the Canadian oil and gas sector will use this report to unite in a process to stabilize emissions, achieve carbon neutrality and, in the decade to come, make the transition to a carbon-free energy system,” said Walker. “Climate change is without a doubt the most significant environmental challenge facing our society today.”

About The Ethical Funds Company

Launched in 1992, The Ethical Funds Company is Canada’s leading manager of socially responsible mutual funds. In addition to evaluating all investments according to their financial, social and environmental performance and outlook, The Ethical Funds Company promotes corporate accountability – making good companies better – and gives investors a voice in encouraging sustainable business practices.

(R)Ethical, and (TM)The Ethical Funds Company are registered marks and trademarks owned by Ethical Funds Inc.

For further information: Carol Boutin, The Ethical Funds Company, Tel: (604) 714-3997, www.ethicalfunds.com

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