Wednesday 22 February: Equipsuper, Colonial First State and REST have been shamed with the first ever Super Dirty Gas awards as new Market Forces analysis reveals the funds have the highest proportion of Australian shares invested in Santos and Woodside of all major super default options.
Both Santos and Woodside are pursuing massive new fossil fuel projects, which the International Energy Agency, United Nations and climate scientists have made clear is incompatible with limiting global warming to 1.5°C needed to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Speaking outside the Australian Superannuation Association conference, Satire comedian Deborah Hart, in her character as Coral Bleach congratulated Equipsuper, Colonial First State and REST for their shameful awards:
“I’m here to applaud Equipsuper, Colonial First State and REST superfunds for their efforts to maintain their investments in Santos and Woodside. And to encourage them – and all uber wealthy superfunds – to staunchly resist the calls of greedy and selfish ordinary people wanting a stable climate. Believe me, gas, like smoking, is perfectly fine for people, and the planet!”
Equipsuper, Colonial First State and REST members are not impressed, and a growing number are seriously considering switching superannuation funds due to this poor performance on investing for a safe climate future.
Helen Koustas, insurance consultant and Equipsuper fund member said:
“I am really disturbed that Equipsuper’s default option has the highest proportion of Australian shares invested in Santos and Woodside, companies which are fuelling the climate crisis.
“If Equipsuper doesn’t listen to the science and its members and divest from companies expanding fossil fuels I will be shifting to another superannuation fund.”
Neil Barter, retired energy consultant for AGL and Equipsuper fund member said: “Climate change is already wreaking havoc across the world. I’m appalled to discover Equip’s default investment option has the highest portion of Australian shares in Santos and Woodside.
“All super funds need to divest from companies expanding fossil fuels and direct members’ money into clean, renewable energy.”
Christopher Lintott, is a grandfather, president of the local Probus club, as well as an electronics and communications engineer and Colonial First State member said, “I want Colonial First State to look after the future of the planet and my grandchildren, by investing in sustainable solutions rather than investing in companies expanding fossil fuel production like Santos and Woodside.”
Mark McVeigh, a REST member who successfully litigated against the Australian superannuation giant REST said:
“REST says their climate policy is in-line with the Paris agreement and yet the UN has stated that the emissions from new Woodside and Santos projects are not compatible with a 1.5 degree world.
“It’s time REST put their money where their mouth is and divested from these companies that are making no effort to prevent the growing catastrophe on our planet.
“As an industry fund, REST’s investments are meant to solely profit members, but I see no profit for us in contributing to a future ravaged by worsening droughts, floods and fires.”
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