Climate change is transforming the way that investors think about both opportunities and risks at a global level, and there is a palpable sense of alarm as we see the real-world, real-time effects of climate change play out in front of our eyes. With extreme weather events reported regularly in the media, a growing number of individuals are seeking more information about how their money is being invested, and there is growing pressure for pension fund and charity trustees, as well as their advisors, to focus on climate change and a host of other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

While all Australia’s state governments have now pledged to be net zero in terms of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050, only a relatively small number of super funds have made the same commitment. However, following the deadly wildfires of 2020, there are mounting calls both from environmental activists and from funds’ own members for the retirement industry to take more decisive action.