Opposition leader urges government to pull fossil fuel investments

Opposition leader Peter Bevan-Baker is calling on the P.E.I. government to divest from fossil fuel investments.

Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker says government had about $155M invested in fossil fuels in 2015

Opposition leader Peter Bevan-Baker argued the province should divest from fossil fuels. (Legislative Assembly of P.E.I. )

Opposition leader Peter Bevan-Baker is calling on the P.E.I. government to divest from fossil fuel investments.

Bevan-Baker raised the issue of government investments in question period on Thursday. 

He said the province had about $155 million invested in fossil fuel companies in 2015 — and asked the finance minister for an update on that number.

"Many of government's policies outside the direct realm of climate policy actually have an impact on climate, and we need to be absolutely sure that all of these policies are working together and not across purposes," Bevan-Baker said.  

"We need to make sure that we're not investing in something which is going to work counter to [our climate targets] somewhere else."

Divestment 'hypocritical,' says minister

Finance Minister Darlene Compton said she will find out what P.E.I.'s fossil fuel investments are, but she said she would not commit to divestment — and even said it would be "hypocritical" to do so.

"It's pretty hard for me to say that we could do that when everyone in this place is driving a vehicle that needs fossil fuels," Compton said. 

"We have to have fossil fuels, it's as simple as that." 

Finance Minister Darlene Compton says it would be hypocritical to divest from fossil fuels. (Legislative Assembly of P.E.I. )

Bevan-Baker said his suggestion is not about personal choices, arguing there are sound financial reasons for selling off fossil fuel investments. 

"It's about the value of those investments, and what the potential future value will be as more and more fossil fuel investments become stranded assets," said Bevan-Baker. 

At Bevan-Baker's request, Compton said she would bring back information on the province's investment policies. 

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