ANZ’s new climate policy takes some steps toward moving their money out of coal, but they are still the biggest lender to coal, gas and oil in Australia.¹
So our allies at Market Forces are giving ANZ and their investors an opportunity to step up. At the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in December they will put to vote a shareholder resolution that would demand ANZ set investment targets in line with the Paris climate agreement.
The vote will be decided by major institutional investors with thousands of votes, including big super funds like QSuper and Sun Super.
QSuper and Sun Super have both signed the Climate Action 100+ initiative, publicly supporting the Paris climate agreement and committing to holding the companies they invest in – like ANZ – to account on climate action, including by using their thousands of votes at AGMs.² ³
However, last year, Sun Super voted against the same resolution at ANZ’s AGM. Meanwhile, QSuper do not disclose how they vote on climate issues at AGMs, and so we don’t really know if they are following through on their climate promises.
With ANZ’s AGM coming up on 16 December, now is a great opportunity for us to speak out and keep all three financial powers – ANZ, Q Super and Sun Super – accountable on climate.
Some of Australia's biggest financial corporations are dragging their heels on taking responsible climate action
In this year of huge disruption, communities, governments and businesses are seeing the opportunities in climate action to help set a better course for all our futures.
And super funds play a critical role.
It’s why responsible super funds like Australian Ethical, Future Super and Verve are choosing to invest the billions of dollars that ordinary Australians have entrusted them with into clean energy in our communities and not coal, gas and oil.⁴
And it’s why transparent super funds like Cbus, Vic Super, and Vision Super are choosing to disclose how they vote on shareholder resolutions that have impacts for our climate.⁵
Now it’s time for QSuper and Sun Super to make climate responsible choices too – especially because next year the two might merge and become Australia’s biggest super fund responsible for more than $160 billion of retirement investments.
It’s clear they're not feeling the pressure from the public or their members over how their investments and actions fund climate damage – yet!
Let's show these super funds giants how big the public appetite is for their leadership on climate, starting at ANZ’s AGM!
Banks and super funds have an incredible opportunity to move the billions of dollars they are responsible for out of fossil fuels and into clean energy in our communities
The tide is turning on climate here and around the world. US President-elect Joe Biden says he will “push the rest of the world” to cut emissions.⁶
At home, Independent MP Zali Steggall has introduced a bill giving our federal Parliament a fresh chance to seriously debate exactly how the federal government can tackle climate change.
This week, Australian Super’s Chair called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to stop “flirting with carryover credits” and stop being a “free rider” on climate action.⁷
And this month, NAB updated its thermal coal divestment date from 2035 to 2030,⁸ and Woolworths committed to powering all its stores with renewable energy by 2025.⁹
Australia’s leading corporations are expected to be climate responsible, and are speaking with their actions.
Now it’s time for QSuper and Sun Super to use their position as important ANZ shareholders to ensure the bank aligns their investments with the Paris Agreement.
By the way, are you an ANZ shareholder or a QSuper or Sun Super member? Take our survey and we’ll get in touch with how you can put some extra pressure on these finance giants who are dragging their heels on taking responsible climate action.
¹ Australian Conservation Foundation: ‘ANZ takes baby steps on climate, giant leaps needed’
³ Climate Works: ‘Net zero momentum tracker – superannuation sector’
⁴ Market Forces: ‘What future is your super funding’
⁵ Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility:‘Two Steps Forward, One Step Back – How Australia’s largest super funds voted on shareholder proposals 2017-2019’
⁷ Sydney Morning Herald: ‘"Deadbeat countries": AustralianSuper calls on PM to ditch carryover credits’
⁸ The Australian: 'NAB joins race for emissions reduction'
⁹ News.com.au: 'Woolworths supermarkets commit to becoming all renewable by 2025'
Market Forces: ‘ANZ – Australia’s climate change laggard’