• Atmospheric CO2 /Parts per Million /Annual Averages /Data Source: noaa.gov

  • 1980338.91ppm

  • 1981340.11ppm

  • 1982340.86ppm

  • 1983342.53ppm

  • 1984344.07ppm

  • 1985345.54ppm

  • 1986346.97ppm

  • 1987348.68ppm

  • 1988351.16ppm

  • 1989352.78ppm

  • 1990354.05ppm

  • 1991355.39ppm

  • 1992356.1ppm

  • 1993356.83ppm

  • 1994358.33ppm

  • 1995360.18ppm

  • 1996361.93ppm

  • 1997363.04ppm

  • 1998365.7ppm

  • 1999367.8ppm

  • 2000368.97ppm

  • 2001370.57ppm

  • 2002372.59ppm

  • 2003375.14ppm

  • 2004376.96ppm

  • 2005378.97ppm

  • 2006381.13ppm

  • 2007382.9ppm

  • 2008385.01ppm

  • 2009386.5ppm

  • 2010388.76ppm

  • 2011390.63ppm

  • 2012392.65ppm

  • 2013395.39ppm

  • 2014397.34ppm

  • 2015399.65ppm

  • 2016403.09ppm

  • 2017405.22ppm

  • 2018407.62ppm

  • 2019410.07ppm

  • 2020412.44ppm

  • 2021414.72ppm

  • 2022418.56ppm

  • 2023421.08ppm


Australian pension funds invest AU$39bn in fossil fuel expansion

Australia’s top 30 pension funds, including AU$316bn AustralianSuper and AU$135bn UniSuper, have invested more than AU$39bn in companies that have expanded their fossil fuel expansion plans, new research by Market Forces has revealed.

Climate activist group Market Forces’ analysis found that Australia’s largest pension funds have collectively more than doubled their investments in a group of 190 companies that have committed to coal, oil and gas expansion plans - all of which feature in its Climate Wreckers Index - between 2021 and 2023.

The research revealed that 30 Australian funds invested AU$39bn in global companies with the biggest expansion plans over the two years. It also found that their commitments to clean energy companies have decreased over the same period, totalling AU$7.7bn at December 2023.

This comes as pension funds including AustralianSuper and AU$100bn HostPlus came under pressure to vote against the re-election of oil and gas company Woodside Energy’s chairman Richard Goyder over climate concerns. Although, many super funds did vote against the company’s energy transition plan.

Brett Morgan, Market Forces’ superannuation funds campaigner, said: “Investments in the world’s biggest climate wreckers are skyrocketing as Australia’s biggest super funds are failing to rein in dangerous coal, oil and gas growth.

“Thousands of members are furious that large funds including AustralianSuper, AU$240bn Australian Retirement Trust and AU$81bn HESTA are failing to rein in the climate-wrecking business plans of companies like Woodside.”

In addition, the research revealed that of the 190 companies, only three of them, Woodside Energy, Santos and Whitehaven Coal, are responsible for 59% of projected emissions attributable to fossil fuel expansion plans of companies in the average super fund’s portfolio.

According to the Market Forces analysis, the funds with default investment options most exposed to the Climate Wreckers Index include, UniSuper at 11.5%, Commonwealth Super Corp at 10.8% and MLC at 10.4%.

The pension funds with the least exposure include Emergency Services State Super at 6.6%, AwareSuper at 6.6% and NGS Super at 6.7%.

Content Tags: Pensions  Emissions  Australasia  In-Brief 

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