Climate change inactivity hindering super asset allocation

The superannuation industry should not be forced to fund the transformation of “dirty industries”, according to Australian Ethical, while the country sits on the climate change sidelines.

The COP26 summit was approaching in Glasgow in November but it was unsure whether Prime Minister Scott Morrison would be in attendance. Australia had also failed to commit to a net-zero policy in line with global agendas.

John McMurdo, chief executive of Australian Ethical, said the lack of activity by politicians was a “national embarrassment” and that they were on “the wrong side of history”.

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“It’s taken far too long for the coalition government to finally acknowledge that immediate action is required by Australia to do its part for the climate crisis,” McMurdo said.

“It’s also a shame that so many laggard politicians seem intent to remain on the wrong side of history on this issue.

“It’s time to end our national embarrassment when it comes to climate action and support the fossil fuel industry.”

He said investors needed climate-change friendly investment options domestically as Australian Ethical had been forced to look offshore.

“We reject Josh Frydenberg’s suggestion that banks, super funds and insurers should lend to so-called dirty industries to help them transform,” McMurdo said.

“We should not pour money into legacy industries that don’t have credible transition plans in hopes they change of their own volition.

“At the moment, global markets are downgrading Australia based on climate risk and even local investors like been forced to look offshore for investments in climate-friendly industries. This needs to stop.

“If we want Australia to flourish with trillions of investments from asset allocators like Australian Ethical, the superannuation industry and global institutional investors, we need policy certainty on climate.”

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