New alliance takes aim at fund’s fossil fuel investments
Thursday 12 September 2019
Activist groups, not-for-profits, fund managers and climate change advocates have united with the Our Future Fund initiative and students from around the country. The alliance is seeking 10,000 signatures in 10 days to garner support for the initiative in the lead up to the September 20 ‘climate strike’.
The initiative is backed by Caritas Australia, climate champions Laura Wells and Josh Gilbert, 350.Org and funds manager Impact Invest Group who are calling for greater transparency in fund investments and a move from fossil fuels to deliver on its stated promise for ‘the benefit of future generations of Australians’.
A recent national poll from Essential Media shows the majority (86 per cent) of Australians feel they have a right to know what investments are being made on their behalf by the national wealth fund.
Campaign Manager from leading climate activist group 350.org, Glen Klatovsky. said, ‘the initiative is asking Australia’s Future Fund Board of Guardians (including its chair,
Peter Costello) and Treasurer Josh Frydenburg to divest from fossil fuel by 2030, a move which is supported by the majority (68 per cent) of Australians polled.’
Mr Klatovsky said this means moving away from all investments that worsen the climate crisis, whether that be coal mines, gas port terminals or fossil fuel power plants, to deliver on its promise to benefit future generations of Australians.
The Future Fund currently manages $200 billion – in essence, it is Australia’s savings fund – however, billions of taxpayer dollars are being invested in the fossil fuel industry.
Kate Grimwood, a year 12 student at Daramalan College in Canberra, said given the fund’s stated mission to invest for the benefit of future generations, and the fact it has already made investments based on ethical considerations (such as refusing to invest in tobacco), it should reflect the beliefs and values of this generation.
‘The Finance Minister is going to be gone before I am: it’s me, my friends, my family and my children who are going to have to suffer the consequences of the decisions you're making,’ she said.