Australia’s 15 largest superannuation funds have more than $25 billion invested in companies that are expanding coal, oil and gas production, according to new analysis by the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Nearly a fifth of this amount ($4.66 billion) is invested in just three companies – Woodside, Chevron and Santos.

The total investment in companies expanding coal, oil and gas production represents 5% of the entire holdings of the portfolios, according to recently released mandatory portfolio holdings.

“Australia’s biggest super funds have enormous influence in facilitating Australia’s energy transformation – or blocking it,” said ACF’s corporate campaigner Jonathan Moylan.

“Super funds are making decisions today about the kind of climate young Australians will live in when they reach retirement age.

“By the choices they make about how they invest our retirements savings, super funds can transform Australia from the world’s largest exporter of climate pollution to a country that manufactures low or zero emissions materials here with our abundant wind and sunshine.”

The analysis found:

  • Only three of the 15 funds – Australian Retirement Trust, Commonwealth Super and OnePath – remain invested in Chevron through their ‘balanced’ portfolio options.
  • All 15 funds still invest in Woodside, despite the company’s Scarborough gas project plans that will create climate emissions through to 2055.

“Australian Retirement Trust recently told its members it was speaking with Woodside about its climate change plan and had the option to vote against company directors or vote down the remuneration report,” Jonathan Moylan said.

“Vision Super has indicated it will vote against key directors at the company’s upcoming AGM on 28 April and HESTA has already put Woodside on notice that it will take action if the company doesn’t align its company strategy with the Paris Agreement.

“A growing number of Australians don’t want their retirement savings locking in greenhouse emissions with new projects when they could be building clean energy infrastructure for the 21st century and will be paying attention to how Australian Retirement Trust votes on director and remuneration votes at Woodside’s AGM.”

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email [email protected]