Media release

It’s showtime: HESTA not giving up on 1.5°C, holding fossil fuels to account

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility​ (ACCR)  is commenting on HESTA CEO Debbie Blakey’s recent comments , in which she stated that the fund will be holding AGL Energy, Origin Energy, Woodside Energy and Santos to account over the gaps between their strategies and a 1.5C pathway.

Commenting on HESTA’s remarks, Harriet Kater, Climate Lead (Australia) at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:

“This public signaling from HESTA on the importance of engagement and in holding fossil fuel companies to 1.5°C pathways is an extremely welcome development. This level of transparency around engagement objectives with specific companies sets a new standard for best practice.

“Forceful engagement is the most immediate option available to constrain the current and planned climate damage inflicted by listed fossil fuel companies.

“The boards of fossil fuel companies need to be held to account - and their jobs need to be on the line if they continue with  strategies that are in direct contrast to what they have committed to.

“There are abundant opportunities for HESTA’s public leadership to play an important role in challenging companies on the incompatibility of their plans with 1.5°C.

“Origin must be taken to task on the incompatibility of its exploration activities in the Beetaloo, Canning and Lake Eyre Basins with its stated commitment to 1.5°C.

“Additionally, the job is not over with AGL. In particular we need to see the closure date of Loy Yang A brought forward from the 2040s to the early 2030s at the latest.

“Similarly there is a lot of work to do with Woodside, which is running with open arms towards major stranded asset risk by progressing the Browse and Sunrise projects under the guise of energy security.

“ACCR remains concerned with the disappointing trend in the institutional investment community with funds backing away from 1.5°C ambition. This is reprehensible as we observe the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, the searing heatwaves and drought in China and wildfires in London. These funds clearly haven’t contemplated the full economic and societal impacts of warming beyond 1.5°C.

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