With over 12,000 members joined up so far, the UniSuper Divest campaign has already forced Unisuper to divest from thermal coal mining companies and commit to ensuring its investment portfolio reaches net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
However, UniSuper is continuing to invest billions of dollars in dirty oil and gas companies that are incompatible with a safe climate.
While Australia’s academics, scientists and researchers work on climate change solutions, our super fund is investing their retirement savings in the companies causing the problem.
We say it’s time for UniSuper to become a leader and ditch its investments in the coal, oil and gas companies that are undermining climate action and pursuing business strategies that undermine the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
And in other news…
Law case forces REST Superfund out of fossil fuels
Following a lawsuit taken by a single 25-year-old member, another super fund, Retail Employees Superannuation Trust (REST Super) worth around $57 Billion, has been forced to overhaul the way it manages climate risk.
REST has agreed to align its investments with net-zero emissions by 2050 and to publicly disclose its holdings.
Brisbane man Mark McVeigh sued REST for failing to disclose how the fund was managing the financial risks posed by climate change. The legal claim alleged REST’s trustee directors failed to act with care, skill and diligence when investing for McVeigh, by not properly considering the risks climate change poses to the fund’s investments.
REST has now agreed to:
- Align its portfolio to the Paris Agreement that is to net zero emissions by 2050
- Publicly disclose all its portfolio holdings and its climate risk exposure
- Pay more attention to climate risks in its investments
- Actively consider shareholder resolutions about climate risk
The commitments underscore the key role superannuation funds can play in society’s response to climate change. Many superannuation funds, including REST, have substantial holdings in companies actively pursuing new fossil fuel projects such as Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Origin Energy, AGL and Caltex. If REST is going to be able to deliver on its pledge, it must divest from these companies, or secure a commitment to net-zero from these and the thousands of other companies in which it invests.