Divestment – a strategy explained

The Australian Greens has a comprehensive climate change and energy policy . As part of that policy the Australian Greens want an Australian government investment policy that divests from all fossil fuel extraction and consumption.

Apart from encouraging divestment at a governmental level, there is a growing global divestment movement encouraging individuals and organisations to divest from fossil fuels. There are several factors underlying this movement ranging from the pragmatic – for example, the fear of ‘stranded assets’ to the moral – for example the slogan from Go Fossil Free: “If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.”

A few comments and links are provided here to help our members and supporters to understand the divestment movement and to think about whether to take steps to change their investments. Links are to independent agencies and publications. The Greens do not necessarily endorse the content of any of these publications but we provide them to assist readers to consider these issues. We suggest that you consider your own positon and obtain independent advice if you are contemplating divestment decisions.

What is divestment and why is it important?

See this article from the Guardian:
A beginners guide to fossil fuel divestment 24 June 2015

Divestment is a worldwide movement. Part of understanding how to divest is knowing how your money is invested. The following links provide information you may like to take into account if you are considering divestment.

The Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP)

The Asset Owners Disclosure Project is an independent not-for-profit global organisation whose objective is to protect asset owners from the risks posed by climate change.
It does this by working with pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, foundations and universities to improve the level of disclosure and industry best practice.
It encourages investors to redress the huge imbalance in their investments between high- and low-carbon assets, while realigning the investment chain to adopt long-term investment practices.
It claims to have developed the world’s leading reporting framework for institutional investors encompassing the disclosure and management of climate risk.

It has recently released the  Global Climate 500 index 2016 which it claims is the world standard for assessing the world’s largest investors on climate-risk management. Three Australian super funds have been awarded a triple A rating for disclosure.
See the Australia Index to see how your fund compares.

Market Forces

For a different perspective, see Market Forces which aims to expose the institutions that are financing environmentally destructive projects and help Australians hold these institutions accountable. It provides resources on banks, super funds and government subsidies to the fuel industry, including:

Fossil Fuels – Where does your bank stand?
which has a table showing which Australian banks are invested in and a guide to switching banks, and
which allows you to search funds to see how your fund is invested


Posted May 2016