Australia’s first fossil fuel free super fund launched

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Former GetUp director Simon Sheikh launches Australia’s first fossil fuel free super fund as coal and oil divestment campaigns gain momentum.

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The sheikhAustralian superannuation market has its first fossil fuel free fund, launched on Thursday by Former GetUp National Director Simon Sheikh.

The fund, FutureSuper,will include no fossil fuel industry companies in its investment portfolio, guaranteeing customers their super contributions are making minimal contributions to the problem of climate change.

According to the Australia Institute, one in four Australians are willing to shift their super into a fund that doesn’t invest in coal and coal seam gas, representing a potential $247 billion that could be directed away from fossil fuels.

As well as the feel-good factor, a fossil fuel free super fund would offer investors increased security, with shareholders in fossil fuels increasing being warned by analysts of the substantial risk of future stranded assets.

Recently, HSBC warned companies like BP that they risked losing 60 per cent of their value should the international community deliver on its agreed emissions reduction targets.

Speaking to RenewEconomy, Sheikh said he was confident that FutureSuper’s offer of a product customers could be well and truly proud of would be a great attraction.

“Despite there being responsible labeled funds, we are yet to see a product that the public can be sure isn’t contributing to the fossil fuel industry,” Sheikh said.

“Fossil fuel valuations are at risk from the rapidly declining cost of renewable energy and global regulatory efforts to reduce carbon emissions. These are increasingly relevant considerations as we see major countries including the US and China move to regulating carbon pollution.”

Sheikh’s team at FutureSuper includes former vice president of JP Morgan, Jemma Green, and co-founder of Australian Ethical, James Thier.

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11 Comments
  1. Lar Ni 4 years ago

    Yay, finally this is great news and just what we have been in need of. I cant wait to switch my super over, Thank you. 🙂

  2. Di Elliffe 4 years ago

    Ausethical Super is fossil-free, surely!

    • Kajute O'Riordan 4 years ago

      sorry to break it to you but they are not – you can see more here: http://superswitch.org.au/compare-funds/

      • barso 4 years ago

        Thanks for this link. As an Aust. Ethical member i was surprised to see that much gas infrastructure being invested in.

        I’ve sent them an email to let them know I’m not interested in my money being invested in gas… now that Future fund is here, hopefully they give me the option to exclude gas from my investments.

        I’m really happy that there is a ‘fossil divestment’ super fund now, but I did have a look through the ‘investment universe’ of the Future Fund, and have to admit that seeing Fairfax, Slater and Gordon, and especially Webjet (wtf!!!) was uninspiring and didn’t make me rush to change super funds.. What fuel do they think all the cheap flights that webjet sell use??

        Once they have a bit more information about where they do put the money rather than where they might (and get rid of webjet as an option) I will consider it.

    • Peter Castaldo 4 years ago

      no Australian Ethical like gas they have been resistant to getting out of gas regardless of how many of us are trying to get them to change. They are not ethical if you consider climate change as an issue.

      • Di Elliffe 4 years ago

        I’m not uncomfortable with gas being used as a transitional energy source as power companies ease out of coal and as renewables come online.

        • Peter Castaldo 4 years ago

          your question is about fossil free. gas is not fossil free. Gas is a long term investment if you want a transition that lasts 50 years well it may be a solution. Why waste your money on something that is only going to get more expensive and causes polution to to the air to the land to the water. Its like cutting 1cm off your cigarette when your trying to quite smoking. If you work for a gas company or invest in gas well then you might suggest its a good transition fuel. I just cant see it being put forward as a rational arguement that is part of a climate change response.

  3. Rob G 4 years ago

    This is great news! I have been waiting a long time for this. Just think if all super investment dumped fossil fuel investment. We’d have an almighty crash of those industries and there will be nowhere else to turn but to renewables. I told my super fund I’d switch when I had the chance and now I will.

  4. Michel Syna Rahme 4 years ago

    I’m switching over on Monday!

  5. Michel Syna Rahme 4 years ago

    After consideration, I will be switching my super to the Future Fund with the hope that once sovereign risks in Australia for investment in clean energy technologies are defeated, that the Future Fund will incorporate into their portfolio more sound renewable energy, efficiency, and Corporate Socially Responsible company investments and perhaps less in stocks such as JBHifi and Fairfax and property groups not committed to net zero electricity houses or highly efficient developments, for example.

    http://www.myfuturesuper.com.au/how_we_invest … then click on the PDF

    • Michel Syna Rahme 4 years ago

      The other question I have is do super funds such as the Future Fund invest in indexes such as the Australian CleanTech Index? Surely over the next 30 years this would provide safe returns.

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