April 15, 2016

Australia’s largest super fund launches $1.5 billion fossil free option

MELBOURNE, 15th April: 350.org Australia welcomes news that AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest superannuation fund, will offer its members a coal, oil and gas free investment option from May 30th and calls on the fund to come up with a plan to apply these changes to the entire funds under management.

“With more than 2 million members and $90 billion in assets under management, AustralianSuper is our nation’s largest super fund. This fossil free announcement follows more than 2 years of work from members who don’t want their retirement savings fuelling the devastating impacts of  climate change,” said 350.org’s Divestment Campaigner, Isaac Astill.

“It’s great to see one of Australia’s largest financial institutions embracing the need to move beyond fossil fuels. This shows that when members band together and make their voices heard, even multi-billion dollar funds listen and act.”

“But this is just the first step. We look forward to AustralianSuper divesting their entire fund from fossil fuels, starting with coal. Members shouldn’t have to opt out of dirty fossil fuel investments that are bad for both to the planet and their portfolio.

“Globally, the world’s largest fund managers are rapidly moving their money out of fossil fuels. This is no surprise when you look at the trend of fossil fuels. In the US alone, 30 coal companies have gone bankrupt and the coal market has lost 95% of its share value in the past 5 years.

“Aside from the financial risks, coal cripples communities and wreaks havoc on our  climate. Do we really want our nest-eggs invested in this dirty and dangerous industry?”

In embarking upon the fossil free pathway, AustralianSuper joins over 500 institutions representing $3.4 trillion globally, including the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, Stanford and Oxford Universities, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the cities of Newcastle and Canberra. Just this week, Australia’s 2 largest ethical fund managers – Australian Ethical Investment and Hunter Hall – announced that they are fully divesting from coal, oil and gas.

You can see the full commitment from AustralianSuper here.

Media Enquiries: Cam Klose 0490 436 948 or Charlie Wood 0427 485 233