Canada Pension Plan invests millions in BAE Systems, maker of Typhoon warplanes

Published by Brent Patterson on

To sign our Urgent Action calling on the Canada Pension Plan to divest from BAE Systems and the manufacturing of warplanes, please click here.

Divestment from weapons manufacturers is an important strategy in challenging militarism and making space for peace.

The BBC now reports: “The UK was the world’s second-biggest arms exporter behind the United States over the past decade, government figures suggest.”

That article highlights: “Orders worth £11 billion were won in 2019, which the government said placed the UK ahead of Russia and France. Almost £100bn worth of contracts since 2010 included the sale of Typhoons to Saudi Arabia and missiles to Qatar.”

The Eurofighter Typhoon warplane is manufactured by BAE Systems.

In 2006, a £4.43 billion deal to sell 72 Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia was announced. Those fighter jets were delivered to them between 2009 and 2017.

In February of this year, an £11 billion deal was announced to sell another 48 Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

It should be remembered that Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has millions invested in this weapons manufacturer.

The Ottawa-based Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) has noted that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) had $9 million invested in BAE Systems in 2015 and $33 million in 2017/18. With respect to the $9 million figure, World Beyond War has noted: “this is an investment in the UK BAE, none in the US subsidiary.”

These figures also indicate that CPPIB investments in BAE increased after Saudi Arabia began its airstrikes against Yemen in March 2015.

A Canada Pension Plan Investment Board spokesperson has previously stated: “CPPIB’s objective is to seek a maximum rate of return without undue risk of loss. This singular goal means CPPIB does not screen out individual investments based on social, religious, economic or political criteria.”

But it’s that reasoning that allows the Canada Pension Plan to invest and profit from the devastation caused by these fighter jets.

Significantly, Channel 4 recently quoted a former Royal Saudi Air Force officer who said the RSAF would be unable to continue its ongoing air strikes against Yemen – that the New York Times has reported “have killed thousands of civilians and bombed well over 100 medical facilities” – without the Typhoon fighter jet.

The 2018-19 annual report of the Canada Pension Plan notes that 15.7 million Canadians contributed $51.2 billion to the plan.

Peace Brigades International-Canada calls on the Canada Pension Plan to divest from the war machine and instead focus on investments that support peace, renewable energy and green jobs, and a sustainable future for all.

To sign our Urgent Action calling on the Canada Pension Plan to divest from BAE Systems and the manufacturing of warplanes, please click here.

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