Talk is cheap, it’s time to walk the walk - that’s the message the head of Quebec’s largest pension fund has for government leaders when it comes to tackling climate change.

“It's important that people understand the urgency of the situation. There's no longer time to have long philosophical discussions about where the direction is heading,” said Charles Emond, president and chief executive officer of Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, who spoke in an interview Thursday from the COP26 climate summit held in Glasgow, U.K.

“I think a lot of governments need to really step up around the world to understand that there's a lot of investments to be made, and that we need the right solution to get to where we need to be in a fairly short timeframe."

World leaders from more than 200 countries are among the tens of thousands of people who descended on Glasgow to attend the conference and discuss how to combat climate change, though presidents from China and Russia, in particular, have been glaringly absent from the event.

The conference has so far garnered various climate pledges from political and business leaders including a commitment to phase out coal – something the Caisse de Depot has already done within its investment portfolio.

The pension fund is not exiting its fossil fuel holdings entirely, but it is working on selling billions of dollars worth of its remaining oil-producing assets, which made up about one per cent of its $390 billion portfolio as of September, because the Caisse doesn’t want to “keep contributing to the increase in oil supply.”

For now, the fund will maintain its exposure to natural gas and existing pipelines, according to Emond. He added the world still needs that source of energy and energy infrastructure since renewables aren’t a large-scale, viable replacement right now.

“We can’t shut down the economy and these assets actually reflect and respond to the current needs of the economy. So it'll be a transition,” he said. “Whether we like it or not, our strategy was ambitious but also meant to be pragmatic.”