How should investors react to the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Nations, international institutions, the private sector, and civil society are all seeking ways to address the humanitarian crisis resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February 2022. 

Investors have raised a lot of questions about what should be done in response to the crisis. But here are two things we clearly should not do:

Canada should not make capital investments that increase long-term oil and gas production as a way of lessening European dependence on Russian energy.

The need for short-term alleviation of supply does not justify capital expenditures that would commit Canada and other countries to higher GHG emissions in the long term, and jeopardize a rapid, orderly, and just transition to a low-carbon economy. Alternative solutions that do not raise the bar for stranded assets are available.

We should not re-label armaments as “socially responsible” investments.

Labelling weapons as “socially responsible investments” is inappropriate. States’ right to defend themselves is recognized in international law, and the production of armaments in some circumstances may be justifiable. But high levels of regional armament generally correspond to lower levels of human security. The production of weapons diverts resources away from social development, the alleviation of poverty and achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

These and other questions investors are asking about the war are outlined in SHARE’s new Investor Brief, “Investors and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine”, available now. 

Investor Brief

Investors and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Peter Chapman
Written By:

Peter Chapman

Peter Chapman joined SHARE in 2000 as Executive Director, and served in that position until 2018. Peter advises SHARE on trustee education, investment policy and proxy voting, focusing on how institutional investors can implement investment policies that consider systemic risks and mission alignment.

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