Socially Responsible Investing by Tom Moore and Hugh Hunter

Extract from an article on the Metung Science Forum*

The Federal Government is currently promoting a “gas fired recovery” for our economy and the NSW government has just approved the Narrabri Gas Project. The recent Federal Budget does nothing to promote renewable energy. Rather than considering gas as part of a transition to net zero emissions (ie. firming the grid) it appears that Australia is poised to embark on another wave of fossil fuel use while continuing to also support the coal industry.

At the same time, all over the world, banks, superannuation funds and private investors are decarbonizing their investment portfolios by getting out of fossil fuels. This is all part of a move to invest in companies who have undertaken to act in a Socially Responsible Manner. Socially Responsible Investments (SRI) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments were not so long ago, oddities in global investment markets.

However, there has been a significant paradigm shift in the investment world, which has seen an ever-increasing tendency of investors to question whether their investments are used to fund companies who have exposure to practices such as modern slavery, tobacco, plastics pollution, gambling, animal cruelty, etc and indeed whether they contribute to climate change.

There are numerous examples of organisations and individuals who are moving very quickly in the direction of SRI or ESG investing. These include the largest fund manager in the world, Blackrock, who is decarbonizing its portfolios to companies such as BHP who are divesting from thermal coal. And to individuals such as British Filmmaker, Richard Curtis (think Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill etc.) who is currently campaigning to shift 3 trillion pounds of UK pensions away from fossil fuels, arms, and meat production over to clean energy, healthcare, and human rights. Richard believes that the most powerful thing any of us can do to support the climate change initiatives we must adopt, is to clean up our investment portfolios – let our money do the talking…

*Request the full article from Tom Moore [ ] The Metung Science Forum (MSF) is a forum for progressive science and evidence-based discussion of climate change and related issues for the people of Metung and surrounds. As a group we are not politically aligned with any particular party, but have come together to support each other in understanding and respecting science. We promote evidence-based solutions to problems faced by our community, Australia and globally, and we will support selected organisations and individuals who actively engage with local, state and federal governments. (Our current membership stands at 53 local residents).