And here’s what Rest agreed to in the out of court settlement:
- Target net-zero portfolio emissions by 2050
- Disclose all investments
- Identify, quantify and manage climate risks, having regard to the Paris Agreement, including:
- Stress testing its portfolio against a Paris-aligned scenario
- Considering climate risks in its investment strategy
With $2.9 trillion in superannuation assets in Australia, funds must now play an active role in mitigating climate change thanks to 25 year-old Mark McVeigh from Brisbane who sued Rest – Retail Employees Superannuation Trust – for failing to manage the global warming risks to his retirement money.
It was settled out of court on Monday so not as solid a precedent as it might have been but it does mean the funds can expect to be sued if they don’t divest from fossil fuels or demand that the companies in which they invest, take the Paris Agreement seriously. Read the ABC report here.
The trustees of super funds are required by law to act with care, skill and diligence and in the best interest of members.
Rest agreed its trustees have a duty to manage the financial risks of climate change.
McVeigh’s lawyer, David Barnden, head of Equity Generation Lawyer, say this has global implications.
In another case, Mr Barnden is representing all young people around the world in a class action against the Australian Environment Minister, alleging she has failed in her duty of care to protect young people from climate change.
What a climate hero!