Investor group accuses Mark Carney’s firm Brookfield of underreporting carbon emissions

The group particularly points out the omission of emissions from Oaktree Capital Management, a company majority-owned by Brookfield and accounting for 22% of its assets under management. Oaktree reportedly has stakes in at least 118 fossil fuel assets.

Investor group accuses Mark Carney’s firm Brookfield of underreporting carbon emissions
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
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Mark Carney's private equity firm, Brookfield, faces allegations from the campaign group Investors for Paris Compliance (I4PC) of significantly underreporting its carbon emissions. I4PC claims that the actual emissions could be up to 13 times higher than Brookfield's official disclosures, accusing Canada's largest private equity investor of omitting substantial parts of its business in its reports.

Carney, the former Bank of England governor, chairs Brookfield and also serves as a special UN envoy for climate finance and action. I4PC alleges that Brookfield has only reported emissions for about 50% of its assets, the Telegraph reported. The group particularly points out the omission of emissions from Oaktree Capital Management, a company majority-owned by Brookfield and accounting for 22% of its assets under management. Oaktree reportedly has stakes in at least 118 fossil fuel assets.

Furthermore, I4PC criticizes Brookfield for excluding "downstream" emissions, which are the emissions produced by the companies it finances. While Brookfield reported 11.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2022, an analysis conducted by Private Equity Climate Risks (PECR) for I4PC estimated that Brookfield's total emissions across all energy investments in 2023 could be as high as 159 million tonnes.

Kyra Bell-Pasht, I4PC’s director of research and policy, commented on the disparity, stating, "Brookfield positions itself as a leader in financing the net-zero transition, but it is still a major fossil fuel funder." She emphasized the need for Brookfield to fully report its climate transition risks and not solely focus on positive developments in renewables.

Brookfield has disputed these figures, questioning the clarity of inputs and methodology used in the analysis. A spokesperson for the firm highlighted concerns about potential misconstructions of their corporate structure and the context of emissions data, which could lead to significant inaccuracies.

Mark Carney, in his role at Brookfield, has committed to achieving net-zero financed emissions by 2050 for the firm's portfolio. He has been vocal in urging CEOs and policymakers worldwide to accelerate efforts towards net-zero targets. Speaking at the COP28 conference, Carney highlighted the importance of accountability among oil and gas companies and countries in their environmental commitments.

Brookfield, managing over $850 million in investor funds, is at the center of these allegations, raising questions about the accuracy of carbon emissions reporting and the accountability of major investors in the transition to a net-zero economy.

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