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Time for super funds to face up to climate risks

As individuals wake up to the risks climate change poses to their superannuation, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), in partnership with the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), is launching a campaign pressuring funds to reveal the truth about their fossil fuel based investments and to balance their portfolios with cleaner investments.

At $60 trillion, superannuation is the largest single source of wealth on the planet yet 55% of it is invested in climate exposed investments such as fossil fuels and less than 2% in cleaner investments.

“If funds’ clean energy investments were increased to just 5%, $3 trillion could be leveraged globally – that’s almost ⅓ of what’s needed to solve climate change,” says AODP Director Julian Poulter.

AODP’s research has shown that most Australian super funds understand the risks that climate change poses. In fact, a major roundtable of fund trustees in 2010 unanimously agreed that coal was a significant investment risk. Despite this, 94% of funds don’t calculate any portfolio-wide climate risks, 67% are unaware of how much money they’re investing in clean energy and none are aware of their fossil fuel exposure.

“Superannuation is heavily loaded against young people whose investments will have to bear the costs of climate change. We can no longer allow short-termist funds to use our weekly wages to build a completely unsustainable economy,” said AYCC National Director Lucy Manne

According to a report by the Actuarial Profession released last month, super funds could become insolvent within the next few decades if they don’t take climate change seriously.

“It’s time for our funds to protect our savings and our climate by seriously investing in the clean energy economy,” said Ms. Manne.

The campaign was launched at 12pm Friday the 1st of March at The Climate Institute, Level 15, 179 Elizabeth Street, Sydney. The Climate Institute is the agent of the Asset Owners Disclosure Project in Australia. This release was put out by AODP and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

 

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Published on: 1st March 2013

Filed Under: News

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