Future Fund parties like it’s 1999.
Australia’s sovereign wealth fund has once again proven how out of touch it is with the future and the rest of the world over climate change.
A freedom of information request submitted by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) has revealed that the future fund’s board of guardians has not considered the issue even once.
The request also confirmed that it had not once considered reporting its plans for climate risk protection to world leading index provider AODP to allow itself to be measured against other funds around the world.
AODP Chair John Hewson said: “It is ludicrous that after so much action elsewhere that the Future Fund hasn’t even discussed the issue, let alone designed and implemented policies like the leading funds have.
“We need a future fund that is in touch with the future, not the past and Future Fund Chairman Peter Costello has proved again that he is willfully blind to the risks of climate change and the momentum of what is going on around the world to fix it. It seems a clear breach of fiduciary duty.
In the past year former head of the US Treasury Hank Paulson has described the great financial risks of climate change, while Governor of the Bank of England and Chairman of the Financial Stability Board Mark Carney went going to the extraordinary lengths to warn the finance industry of the huge contagion risk from climate change.
“Meanwhile Costello is busy patting himself on the back for past glories,” Hewson said.
“While Costello and his fellow guardians probably chuckle about greenies and tree huggers, in the real world Climate Change is now an economic and financial issue. The bastions and leaders of global finance are now banging the drum to take urgent and early action and all Costello does is to wax lyrical about Australia’s fossil fuel future – that isn’t called swimming against the tide that’s playing Ostrich”
The speech by Carney warning against the risks of climate change now joins a host of conservative institutions urging action, including the US Defence Department, NASA, The Vatican, OECD, G20, WEF and many others.
The revelations about the Future Fund come only a month after Costello defended the Future Fund and committed Australia’s money and future to a doomed industry.
“In 2008, Australia escaped the worst financial crisis in a century by virtue of China’s boom,” Hewson said.
“Every other major economy has suffered nearly a decade of consequences from that crisis. Now we have a potentially worse crisis looming and Australia has no Chinese parachute this time.”
“Australia’s future fund must be governed by guardians who can see and help make the future which will inevitably be one built around clean energy and renewables – there are millions of people working on this transition already and a few vested interests such as Costello allowing their ideology to cloud their judgement.”