Over the past few weeks, your super fund has had the opportunity to vote, on your behalf, for real climate action from two of Australia’s biggest carbon polluters: AGL and Origin.
But we know many super funds failed to take this opportunity, and instead supported these companies’ plans to keep producing coal power beyond 2030 – the deadline by which wealthy countries like Australia need to have transitioned out of coal if we’re to have any hope of avoiding a climate catastrophe.
Super funds lagging international investors
While 30% of AGL’s shareholders supported calls for the company to reduce emissions and phase out coal power in line with the Paris climate goals, it seems many of our super funds were among the recalcitrant 70% that voted against the proposal.
Super funds also recently had the chance to demand Suncorp, one of Australia’s biggest insurers, sets targets to reduce its exposure to oil and gas in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Backing Origin’s smoke and mirrors climate plan
Origin Energy’s plans include opening up a giant new gas field for fracking in the Northern Territory, and running Australia’s biggest coal power station until 2032.
These plans are totally inconsistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and investors either don’t understand – or just don’t care.
Shareholder proposals seeking Paris-aligned coal phase out plans and emission reduction targets attracted just 5% and 8% of shareholder support.
Put simply, the majority of Australia’s super funds have used their members’ savings to block climate action.