Australian superannuation funds, UniSuper and QSuper, have thrown their combined $147 billion of funds under management behind the global Climate Action 100+ group, lifting to more than $1 trillion Australian funds pledged to steer energy-intensive companies away from coal and towards cleaner energy.
Ten Australian energy-intensive companies have also been added to the group of target companies that have significant opportunities to drive the clean-energy transition, including AGL Energy, Origin Energy, Adelaide Brighton Cement, Boral, Santos, Qantas, Bluescope Steel and Woolworths.
They join ASX-listed companies that were previously nominated by global investors – BHP, Rio Tinto and Woodside Petroleum.
Globally the funds represented have lifted to nearly $US30 trillion ($41 trillion), ramping up pressure on energy-intensive companies to get serious about lowering their greenhouse gas emissions and complying with the Paris agreement goal of limiting global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius – regardless of local government policy.
“We welcome the leadership ambitions that a number of companies have set out, but now is the time to intensify climate action together and ensure that the goals of the Paris Agreement are achieved,” said Stephanie Maier, director of responsible investment at HSBC Global Asset Management.