Yesterday news broke that 23-year-old Queenslander Mark McVeigh is suing his super fund REST for climate inaction.
It’s no secret that super funds invest in the coal that’s cooking the planet.
The problem is most super funds don’t really want to talk about it. Instead of answering questions directly, they'll say things like "we consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in order to deliver competitive long-term investment returns for our members"
Well, we do want to talk about it.
Why is Mark suing his super fund over climate change?
Mark is suing REST super because, he argues, they don’t have a plan for climate change.
Super funds invest in lots of things – company shares, loans, infrastructure, property – many of which could be severely affected by climate change.
He wants answers to good questions like, for example, how much of his super is in fossil fuels? How is climate risk being handled? What's the plan for aligning investments with a sustainable future?
Super funds take your money, almost $100 of every $1,000 you earn, and invest it on your behalf.
Incredibly, they don’t actually have to tell you what they’re investing your money in. Despite it being your money.
The fossil fuel industry has to die quickly for a liveable planet, but almost all super funds still invest in coal, oil and gas.
Something that’s been worrying people who 1) understand basic science and 2) think about money stuff, is this: the fossil fuel industry has to die quickly for a liveable planet, but almost all super funds still invest in coal, oil and gas.
Mark simply wanted information on how his super fund plans to phase out investments in unsustainable companies. When he couldn’t find it online, he wrote to them. Mark was not satisfied with the reply.
“They haven’t given any real information and they haven’t supplied any real strategy or plan that they have for climate change and the risks involved,” he said to the ABC.
Do you have to sue your super fund, or is there another way?
A lawsuit is a pretty big deal, especially if it’s against a super fund.
Cases like Mark's are important, because they could shake up the whole super industry and force better disclosure on climate risk.
But, if you’re an average person, you probably don’t want the hassle that comes with taking a $50 billion dollar super fund to court.
The good news is, in just 2 minutes, you can join thousands of Australians who are already investing their super in a safe climate future.
Future Super, Australia’s first 100% fossil-free super fund
Since 2014, Future Super has been helping thousands of Australians invest their super sustainably.
With zero tolerance for fossil fuels, you can have peace of mind knowing that your super is free from coal, oil, gas and the banks that provide essential services to the dying fossil fuel industry.
With Future Super you’ll be investing in global sustainability leaders and renewable energy in Australia. You can even choose to have up to 20% of your super allocated to renewable assets with the Growth (Renewables Plus) investment option.
And even better, you can always see what your super is investing in.
How to Take action
You don’t have to wait for mainstream super funds to see the light and do the right thing on climate.
You can choose to invest your super in a fossil-free future today. It literally takes 2 minutes. All you need is a computer or your phone, and to click the link below.