Brookfield’s Climate Paradox
Climate Pledges vs. Fossil Fuel Reality
Private equity giant Brookfield Corporation’s vast fossil fuel investments undermine its stated commitment to tackle climate change. With over $850 billion in assets under management—and despite a declared goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner—the Canadian investment firm finances emissions that raise serious questions about the credibility of its climate goals.
The report highlights a stark discrepancy between Brookfield’s reported emissions and its actual carbon footprint. Its current fossil fuel investments emit nearly 159 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) a year, much of that through its ownership of Oaktree Capital, a private equity firm with $183 billion in assets. This emissions figure is nearly 14 times higher than the figures Brookfield discloses in its most recent sustainability report and greater than the CO2 emissions produced by burning 178 billion pounds of coal.
“BROOKFIELD EMBODIES THE DEFINITION OF GREENWASHING.”
– Amanda Mendoza, PESP
Among the report’s key findings:
- The combined current fossil fuel investments of Brookfield and Oaktree emit an estimated 159 million metric tons (mt) of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) annually, an order of magnitude more than the 11.8 million mt CO2e disclosed in Brookfield’s sustainability reports.
- Brookfield’s acquisition of a majority stake in Oaktree Capital Management brought with it substantial fossil fuel assets, responsible for emitting an estimated 82 million mt CO2e per year. Yet Brookfield’s sustainability reports in 2021 and 2022 conspicuously omitted Oaktree’s emissions data. Notably, Oaktree’s investments include top methane polluters like Caerus Oil & Gas.
- Brookfield’s net-zero commitment is dubious in light of its incomplete accounting of Scope 3 emissions, which are the largest component of a financial institution’s carbon footprint.
- Mark Carney’s role as a high-profile advocate for net-zero commitments is undermined by Brookfield’s heavily fossil fuel-inclined investment strategy.
This report, Brookfield’s Climate Paradox: Climate Pledges vs. Fossil Fuel Reality, is part of the Private Equity Climate Risks project, a collaborative effort investigating private equity’s impact on the climate crisis. Read more at: https://www.peclimaterisks.org. It was released alongside a report by Investors for Paris Compliance, which further builds on the data provided by the consortium.
Read the full analysis here.