On 5 April 2016, The Climate Institute in collaboration with the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network, hosted Australia's first Divest Invest conference. The event attracted 150 people from different sectors including philanthropists, endowments, faith based organisations, universities, councils, unions, super funds and socially responsible investment managers. They learnt about the opportunities, challenges methodologies and transition pathways needed along the spectrum of divesting from fossil fuel and investing more into the zero carbon economy of the future.
To keep global warming below a 2˚C increase is not only vital to our survival, but according to Bloomberg, it is expected to create a US$12 trillion investment opportunity in renewable energy investment alone.
Fossil fuel free portfolios are now matching or outperforming benchmarks. It’s a tipping point. In Australia we’ve already seen those who have divested avoid significant losses from fossil fuel investments.
The global movement to shift investments out of fossil fuels and into clean energy is gaining momentum. At the Paris climate negotiations Divest Invest announced that 500 institutions worth a collective US$3.4 trillion have signed the pledge.
In Australia, the potential is enormous, but progress is still slow.
There are challenges, such as policy inertia: the government’s initial 2030 emissions reduction target would still leave Australia with the most carbon intensive economy in the developed world – right up there with Saudi Arabia.
Divestment is not a simple process for some institutions. There are significant investment and ethical issues and challenges related to Australia’s fossil fuel industry and portfolio reallocation following a divestment decision. As the world’s largest coal exporter, there is also growing concern that our investments in fossil fuel companies and projects risk being stranded in a world moving to new clean technologies.
The first Divest Invest conference for Australia and the Asia Pacific is part of the global Divest Invest movement. It brought together institutional investors, including philanthropists, endowments, universities, councils, unions, super funds and socially responsible investment managers.
See the conference tab above to see the program and world leading investment speakers.
We will continue to add resources to the tab about, including relevant reports, and speeches and videos from the conference.