“Coal Is Dead”: Political Fetish with Little Black Rock Trashed By Trillionaire Investor

"Anyone who’s looking to take beyond a 10-year view on coal is gambling very significantly.”

The Australian government has been ridiculed by a global fund manager for “denying gravity” on coal investment, according to a report in the AFR today.

“It’s been amusing sitting back and watching Australia from afar,” says Jim Barry, the global head of BlackRock infrastructure investment group, one of the world’s biggest fund managers.

At $5.4 Trillion in funds under management, BlackRock dwarfs Australia’s massive $2.2 Trillion superannuation industry.

“Coal is dead,” continued Mr Barry. “That’s not to say all the coal plants are going to shut tomorrow. But anyone who’s looking to take beyond a 10-year view on coal is gambling very significantly.”

Mr Barry, who is scoping out Australian renewable investments, is quoted as saying Adani’s Carmichael coal mine does not have long-term potential. The comments add to the pile of criticism regarding the financial future of Adani’s mega mine, and the coal industry in general.

Beyond Adani, the assessment of coal’s investment risk should ring alarm bells for all working Australians with super.

Super Funds Risking Member’s Money on Coal

The renewable energy boom means coal is on the way out.

We don’t need a head of investment at BlackRock to tell us this. It’s happening right in front of our eyes. Check out our recent post on the 5 renewable energy growth trends to watch in 2017 to learn more about the incredible uptake of renewables in Australia.

As well as being a solution to climate pollution, renewable energy is already competing “head to head” with coal on price. Further, many of the world’s major economies are taking action by moving their energy production away from polluting coal.

So why are super funds still investing their members' money in coal?

Super funds invest over long time horizons. They have to think in 10, 20 and 30 year periods to maximise returns for members when they retire.

Most Australians are unaware that super funds invest their retirement savings in coal, despite years of dire warnings from investment experts and finance industry regulators.

Here at Future Super HQ, we worry that super funds are gambling their member’s money on coal, choosing short-term opportunism over long-term thinking.

Fossil Fuel Free Investing and the Renewable Revolution

The Future Super investment philosophy reflects both the climate and investment reality that “coal is dead”.

For years, Future Super has been helping Australians invest their super free from coal, oil, gas and the banks that fund fossil fuels. We’re still Australia’s first and only independently recognised 100% fossil fuel free super fund.

But that's not all.

Future Super is investing in Australia's renewable energy revolution. Our members’ money is already being used to pump clean energy into the grid all around the country.

Recently, we announced our investment in up to 50 clean tech start ups though the Artesian Clean Energy Seed Fund. Our team is currently exploring over 21 new renewable energy opportunities through a dedicated renewable energy fund.

In addition to local renewable investments, Future Super members also have access to the world’s top 100 sustainability leaders through their super.

Using a custom-designed investment vehicle, our members are investing in exciting global leaders like Tesla, Vestas (the world’s largest wind company) and Gamesa. For an international company to even be considered for investment, it has to be at least 60% more carbon efficient than the average for its industry.

Next Steps

Getting your super out of coal, oil and gas is easy.

Thousands have made the switch to Future Super in just a few minutes using our secure online join process. Our friendly, experienced team can help you find and combine your super accounts, too.

We’re already investing nearly $250 million on behalf of thousands of everyday Australians.

If you want your super to be out of coal and into renewables, join the Future Super movement today.

About the author:
Michael Bones
Michael is Head of Growth at Future Super. He writes about the intersection between climate change, finance and ethics. Michael is a recipient of the Thomson Reuters Prize for his studies in Climate Law, and previously worked in communications for Canada's leading renewable energy social enterprise, Bullfrog Power.
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Michael Bones
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We love writing about ethical and fossil-free investing, but please be aware that the information provided is general in nature, not personal or financial advice. When we discuss companies, it's not a recommendation to buy, hold or sell shares in that company. If we mention returns, please remember that past performance isn't a reliable indicator of future performance. Before acting on any information provided, you should consider if it's appropriate to you.

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