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Aware claims to invest to ‘help make communities stronger’. Yet the fund currently invests in companies with fossil fuel expansion plans that undermine our chances of avoiding catastrophic climate change. A new report, endorsed by some of the country’s top medical colleges, warns the effects of climate change will place immense pressure on Australia’s hospitals in the next 10 years.
Aware Super’s investments include Australia’s two biggest oil and gas companies: Santos and Woodside. These companies are pursuing new fossil fuel projects, contributing to catastrophic climate change which is ‘the greatest global health threat facing the world in the 21st century’, according to The Lancet medical journal .
As one of Australia’s largest super funds, covering over 1.1 million members in health, education, community services and local government, it’s time for Aware Super to become a leader and ditch investments in companies expanding fossil fuels that are undermining climate action.
Aware Super’s investments in Woodside
Woodside is an oil and gas company that is currently trying to develop the Scarborough offshore gas field, one of the dirtiest new fossil fuel projects planned in Australia. Expert analysis has found “Woodside’s proposed Scarborough to Pluto LNG project in Western Australia represents a bet against the world implementing the Paris Agreement”.
The project would result in the emissions equivalent of 15 coal power stations running for 30 years, threaten to accelerate the degradation of Murujuga Rock art (proposed for World Heritage listing), and would also cause significant impacts to the local marine environment .
Woodside’s Burrup Hub LNG facility. Credit: CCWA
Aware Super’s investments in Santos
Just like Woodside, Santos plans to massively increase dirty gas production, taking us in completely the opposite direction to the clean, green future we need. Santos is planning to develop the highly controversial Narrabri coal seam gas project in northern New South Wales. When burnt, the gas produced from this project could add carbon emissions equivalent to between 3,300 – 6,600 cars every year! On top of this, experts have highlighted  the project’s significant potential impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage, groundwater, and local bush and farmland.
Community members voicing opposition to the Narrabri gas project in NSW, 2014. Image courtesy of the Lock the Gate Alliance
|↑1||The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change https://www.thelancet.com/countdown-health-climate|
|↑2||Climate Analytics, Warming Western Australia: How Woodside’s Scarborough and Pluto Project undermines the Paris Agreement (2021) https://climateanalytics.org/media/climateanalytics_scarboroughpluto_dec2021.pdf|
|↑3||Conservation Council of Western Australia, Why the Scarborough LNG development cannot proceed (2021) https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/ccwa/pages/1/attachments/original/1622622008/Why_the_Scarborough_LNG_development_cannot_proceed_web_final.pdf?1622622008|