FoE affiliate Market Forces sums up some of its work in 2016 and some of the achievements it helped to bring about: Our overhauled Super Switch website helps thousands of Australians demand their fund divests from fossil fuels and disclose where they’re invested (www.superswitch.org.au).
We released two reports, calling out the losses made by super funds on coal, oil and gas stocks and challenging them to do their job as economic stewards, managing carbon out of their portfolios.
Another five superannuation funds announced low or zero carbon exposed options for members, resulting in $659 million divested from fossil fuel stocks.
Between June 2015 and September 2016, the superannuation industry in Australia divested $2.14 billion of fossil fuel stocks. Hundreds of Australians left their bank on Divestment Day, demanding the big banks bring the policies and lending into line with their climate change commitments.
NAB became the first bank to recognise the IPCC’s carbon budget as a guiding factor behind its climate change response. ANZ ended its exposure to the Hazelwood coal-fired power station as the project failed to refinance. Months later the owners announced they will close Hazelwood in 2017.
ANZ, NAB and Westpac’s exposure to coal, oil and gas fell by 18%, or $4.7 billion. The total number of banks that have distanced themselves from Galilee Basin coal export projects, or have policies that rule them out as potential lenders grows to 17, as ANZ effectively ruled out financing the project.
Over 40 fossil fuel companies and their investors faced questions and scrutiny at their annual general meetings from shareholders and people threatened by proposed fossil fuel projects.
We called out Australia’s biggest insurance companies for investing in companies and projects that worsen climate change, who all recognise the importance of operating in a way that keeps global warming to below two degrees.
Market Forces supported more than 30 other organisations, grassroots groups or individuals from the environment movement with research and advice.
We’re also proud to have been recognised for our work last year, with Market Forces taking out the Melbourne Award for our contribution to environment and sustainability, and Super Switch being a finalist in the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards.
We are still threatened with mega coal mines in the Galilee Basin and now have to fight off a $1 billion public subsidy to Adani.