Many seniors have spent years saving for their retirement and have bought insurance for themselves and their families. We are increasingly asking questions about the investments that are funded through these channels. Are they making climate change worse by supporting fossil fuels, or are they helping by supporting renewable energy and green technology? For those of us without investment portfolios, we can ask what our banks are doing to fight climate change and demand banks divest from polluting industries.
One of our own steering committee members Rieky Stuart admits it can be challenging to find green investments. “Our major savings for our old age are in RRSPs” said Rieky. “For the past 10 years we’ve told [our investment advisor] we’d really like to divest from fossil fuels.”
Unfortunately, this proved quite difficult. The majority of Rieky’s investments were in mutual funds, operated by her bank. Mutual funds are portfolios of different investments—anything from coal to solar power, and it’s the bank that makes decisions about what the fund invests in, not folks like Rieky.
Eventually Rieky’s advisor found a portfolio that actually served her green investing goals.
“When we looked at the portfolio, it was all fossil fuel free and heavy investments in clean energy…so we were quite frankly delighted,” said Rieky.
“I think what it tells me, is that it’s important to keep asking these questions and keep pressing our investment advisors to get more information and to make more [green] products available.”
In this section of the website, you will find more examples of how seniors can act to ensure that this part of their legacy contributes to a sustainable planet for future generations.