By Glen Klatovsky, 350 Australia Campaigns Strategist

You may know that Australia has a national wealth fund – our ‘Future Fund’ – of over $200 billion that is invested globally for the benefit of future generations of Australians.

This collective wealth is designed to work for us. But currently, our Future Fund is caught up in the industries we have long known are putting our survival at stake – fossil fuel industries that extract and burn coal, oil, and gas and are rapidly pushing us to climate catastrophe.

We have campaigned for the Future Fund to divest before. Now, backed by an impressive global precedent [1] and a big alliance here at home, we’re turning up the heat once more and asking the Guardians of the Future Fund to make a smart choice for our future and divest from fossil fuels.

Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly how much the Future Fund invests in fossil fuels. That is part of the problem. New research, however, shows that nearly three quarters of Australians believe these investments should be made transparent and publicly available – after all, this wealth belongs to all of us.

We do know, however, that the Future Fund has realigned its investments due to ethical considerations before. In the past, Guardians have made good ethical decisions to divest from tobacco and certain armaments industries, on account of their clearly detrimental impacts to our collective future.

The climate crisis poses an existential threat to our futures and warrants a similarly serious response.

But there are not only good ethical reasons to divest from fossil fuels. It is a sound commercial decision to invest in the industries of the 21st century, rather than those of the 19th. Around the world to date, more than A$12 trillion has been divested from funds containing fossil fuels, and this number is only set to grow.

We have an opportunity to renew the investments of our Future Fund to reflect the clean, safe climate future that all Australians deserve. 

$200 billion is no small amount, and it is invested in all our names. If we all join together and demand a truly clean Future Fund that doesn’t jeopardise our futures, we can leave future Australians a legacy they deserve.

You can sign our petition calling on the Hon. Peter Costello and other Guardians to divest our Future Fund here.


[1] The Guardian, Norway’s $1tn wealth fund to divest from oil and gas exploration