HESTA commits to net zero by 2050

26 June 2020

Industry superannuation fund HESTA has announced it will commit to reducing the absolute carbon emissions in its investment portfolio by 33% by 2030.

This was part of a Climate Change Transition Plan (CCTP) which would see the $52 billion fund target ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said global emissions need to reach net zero by 2050 to create a reasonable chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

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HESTA said it will:

  • Introduce carbon reduction targets for the HESTA investment portfolio to manage key financial risks while seeking further investment in opportunities arising from the low-carbon transition;
  • Pursue real-world economy change through engaging with material holdings and managers to address medium-term transition risks and opportunities; and
  • Align HESTA’s investment portfolio with the aim of the Paris Agreement to be net zero by 2050.

Debby Blakey, chief executive of HESTA, said: “Climate change presents a financial risk to the HESTA investment portfolio and the world in which our members will retire. An urgent response is required and the actions within the Climate Change Transition Plan have been thoughtfully and carefully designed to provide an effective and tangible response.

“This is an exciting piece of work that reaffirms our ongoing commitment to leadership in responsible investment and can help protect and enhance the long-term performance of our members’ investments, while driving meaningful change and contributing to a healthier planet and society.”

HESTA proposed to monitor and report progress against its emissions reduction targets on an annual basis.

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Good news. Now let’s see if AustSuper et al make similar decisions given likelihood of stranded assets.

It will be interesting to meet up with Debby Blakey and the current HESTA management team in 30 years to see if this has been achieved.

More interesting if there is a liveable planet in 30 years

You can hop off anytime.

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