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STRICTLY EMBARGOED TILL 930AM SYDNEY TIME – 11 DECEMBER 2013

The second ever Global Climate Investment Index demonstrating how the world’s biggest investors are managing climate risk has revealed that the world’s politicians look like they will be left behind by fund leaders with more leading funds on climate than countries.

The Asset Owners Disclosure Project’s 2013/ 14 (AODP) Global Climate Index even more starkly identifies how most of the world’s biggest investors are managing, or failing to manage, climate risk.

“This is the second survey of the world’s largest retirement funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds’ actions on managing the growing financial risks to those investments posed by climate change,” Julian Poulter, Executive Director of AODP said.

“What is clear is that the world has an investment system capable of driving the low carbon transition – If all the funds we surveyed had a triple AAA rating, we would be well advanced on meeting the global climate challenge upon us,” he said.

“What we’re seeing ever more clearly is that the polarisation between leaders and laggards within the industry is accelerating and that the investment community is moving towards change more rapidly than most of our political leaders,” Mr Poulter said.

The index was built following information requests to the world’s 1000 largest asset owners including over 800 pension funds, 80 insurance companies, 50 sovereign wealth funds and 30 foundations/endowments. Together, they manage more than US$70 trillion.

Australian funds figure prominently in leading global Asset Owners rankings with 4 in the Top 10.

“The coming year will see the industry smoked out of its fiduciary duty bunker to prove to members that it is actively addressing this calamitous systemic risk, “ John Hewson, AODP Chair said.

“It is extremely telling that there are only 5 funds, or 1% rated AAA or higher out of the 460 rated and that there are so many X rated funds in the Index,” Mr Hewson said.

The survey again focused on five main categories – transparency, risk management, investment chain alignment, active ownership and low carbon investment. It includes asset owners from 63 countries, in all regions of the world.

“A majority of the world’s investment industry are clearly acting contrary to the interests of those whose money they represent – this is an outrageous situation. It must be remembered that much of the money being held by these organisations is the product of workers’ lifelong savings,” Sharan Burrow, AODP board member and General Secretary of the International Trade Union  Confederation said.

Other key findings of the index include:

  • Australian funds figure prominently in leading global Asset Owners rankings with 4 in the Top 10.
  • Leaders are accelerating. They are all underweight high carbon investments and overweight low carbon ones. There are only 5 funds rated AAA or higher out of 460 rated (1%) and 1000 invited to disclose and 29 rated A or above (6%) who we feel will survive a carbon crash in any kind of good shape.
  • If all Asset Owners were AODP AAA level, we would have solved climate change without the intervention of a single politician.
  • A massive 80% of Asset Owners are either D rated (abysmal) or X rated (doing zero, nil, nothing). This list provides beneficiaries and civil society with a massive target whilst continuing to pressure the remainder.
  • Funds who did nothing different from last year are already going backwards as the risk increases each year.

The Global Climate Investment Index can be accessed here: www.AODProject.Net

Media Contact: Andrew Bradley P: 0403 777 137 E: andrew@holdfastcommunications.com.au

AODP Executive Director Julian Poulter, (US) +1 347 871 8907 (AUS)+61 (0)402 488 877, Julian.Poulter@AODProject.net