Demand your super fund ditch climate wrecking companies

(from The Post, Michael West Media, ABC, and Market Forces)

TAKE ACTION: Demand your super fund ditch climate wrecking companies


Australian superannuation funds' investment in fossil fuels has doubled over the past two years, Market Forces has found. Their analysis shows investment by Australia's largest 30 super funds in high-polluting companies rose from $19bn to $39bn since 2021. At the same time, clean energy investment from super funds decreased by half a billion dollars to $7.7bn.

The top three superfunds with the biggest investments in high-emitting companies were UniSuper's balanced fund, Commonwealth Super Corp's PSS default, and MLC's MySuper Growth. The report found that the default investment option of Australia's largest super fund, AustralianSuper, had increased its investment in fossil fuels with a massive buy up of Woodside shares in 2022.

The combined 129 gigatonnes of emissions from expansion projects funded by the super funds would consume half of the remaining global carbon budget for keeping global warming to 1.5C. Woodside, Santos and Whitehaven are responsible for 59% of projected emissions from the fossil fuel expansion plans of companies in the average super fund's portfolio.

Almost all of the super funds analysed have signed up for net zero emissions by 2050 or acknowledge that climate change poses significant risks.

The sector is facing a crackdown from regulators, with the financial regulator ASIC launching its first legal action for greenwashing against Mercer Super for "allegedly making misleading statements about the sustainable nature" of some of its investment options.

It comes as the Labor Party grapples with an internal split over support for new gas projects, with the party risking the loss of urban seats to the Greens.

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia, whose sovereignty was never ceded. We acknowledge that Indigenous peoples around the world are at the forefront of climate change, both in experiencing its effects and leading solutions for change. We pay our sincerest respects to all Elders, past and present.