Greens Senate Inquiry into the exposure of Australians’ investments to the carbon bubble

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The Australian Greens have today established a Senate Inquiry into how transparently companies report their investments in fossil fuels and thus their exposure to the carbon bubble.

Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate Change Spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said, "Australians need to know where their money is invested."

"Companies make it hard work to find out whether your superannuation and savings are helping to address global warming, or are actually making the problem worse.

"If the money from Australian banks and Australian superannuation funds keep flowing into fossil fuels, we will keep exacerbating global warming and blow our cash on what will certainly become stranded assets.

"This Inquiry has been established to bring information about the carbon intensity of the financial sector into the open.

"I especially look forward to questioning the Future Fund about what processes they are putting in place to protect the nation's savings from the risk of the carbon bubble," Senator Waters said.

Greens Finance Spokesperson Senator Whish-Wilson said, "Failure to properly transition to a low-carbon economy in Australia poses risks to financial system stability.

"There are emerging voluntary frameworks for carbon risk and disclosure in Australia and globally, but it seems there is no standardisation.

"France has established mandatory disclosure for investment banks and various share markets around the world are moving to mandatory disclosure likewise. This inquiry is a critical stocktake of where we are at and where we need to head.

"It is currently clear as mud which regulators are responsible for managing systemic carbon risk to the Australian economy.

"The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, himself is taking the lead in the UK on this issue. This Inquiry will find out whom, if anyone is doing that work here in Australia," he concluded

Terms of Reference:

Senator Whish-Wilson: To move-That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 22 June 2016: Carbon risk disclosure in regard to: (a) current and emerging international carbon risk disclosure frameworks; (b) current carbon risk disclosure practices within corporate Australia; (c) Australian involvement in the G20 Financial Stability Board discussions on carbon risk impacts for financial stability; (d) current regulatory and policy oversight of carbon risk disclosure across government agencies; and (e) any other related matters