Three Australian superannuation funds have joined an exclusive list of just 12 institutional investors that have received the top rating for climate change risk management from the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP).
The AODP's 2016 Global Climate 500 Index, released this week, revealed that Local Government Super, AustralianSuper and First State Super are now rated AAA for climate change risk management.
First State Super moved up from AA to AAA in the 2016 report, while Local Government Super and AustralianSuper maintained their AAA rating from last year.
Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said Australia now has six superannuation funds rated A or higher for climate change risk management.
"This year’s index sees a fifth of the world’s 500 biggest asset owners taking tangible action to mitigate climate change risk – clearly signaling that these leaders see managing climate risk as a core function in protecting their financial returns," Mr Connor said.
But a "significant number" of asset owners "remain in denial" on climate change risk, with many institutional investors taking little or no action at all, according to a joint statement by the Climate Institute and the AODP.
AODP chair and former Liberal Party leader Dr John Hewson said that "globally, it is clear that climate change is now moving up the investment agenda".
"Yet, there are still too many ignoring warnings that investors need to be stepping up action and disclosure on physical, transitional and liability climate risks – which is endangering retirement nest eggs, shareholder value and potentially even the stability of our financial system.
"Worldwide, 246 of the 500 appear to be ignoring climate risk completely," Dr Hewson said.
The 2016 Global Climate 500 Index ranked Australia third in the top ten, with Sweden taking top place ahead of Norway.
France, Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, Brazil, the US and China rounded out the top ten countries.
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