- Be informed
- Get involved
- Donate now
- News & media
Australian governments invest nearly fifty times as much in fossil fuels and uranium mining as they do in renewable energy, a report released today by the Australian Conservation Foundation reveals.
The report, Responsible Public Investment in Australia , finds many of Australia’s large government-run funds are making investment decisions that directly conflict with their government’s ambitions to reduce emissions and tackle climate change.
“With so much emphasis on climate change from federal, state and territory governments, many people would be shocked to discover government-controlled funds are still investing $47 in fossil fuels and uranium for every dollar they invest in renewable energy,” said ACF executive director Don Henry.
“Through their investment decisions these big pools of government capital have a significant impact on the health of our environment and society.
“Rather than invest this public money in companies building new coal fired power stations and mining uranium, it should be invested in companies developing renewable energy and finding innovative ways to use energy efficiently,” he said.
“Government-controlled funds that do not manage environmental risks in their portfolios put at risk their financial returns and the world we will leave for our kids.”
The study of 36 federal, state and territory investment funds, with combined control of assets worth $206 billion, found government-controlled funds were, on the whole, behind industry ‘best practice’, with the majority not considering environment, social and governance risks in their investment decision making processes.
Mr Henry said some government funds appeared to be heading in the right direction.
“The ACT Government has conducted a whole-of-government review of responsible investment practices, but the biggest federal fund of them all, the Future Fund, worth $59.6 billion, does not appear to have made any commitment to consider environmental, social and good governance principles in its investment decision-making.
“I urge all governments to review their investment funds’ guidelines and make sure they are investing prudently in socially and environmentally responsible companies,” he said.