If we actually dug out of the ground and burned all the known fossil fuel reserves it would spell catastrophe for life on earth – that’s the fundamental premise of the Unburnable Carbon dilemma.
The issue is that a lot of money has been invested on the assumption that the world’s carbon reserves, particularly abundant coal here in Australia, can be commercialised and brought to market, but the risks are now apparent both to the environmentalists who’ve raised the alarm and the asset owners who are financially responsible for these stranded assets.
For July GreenUps we’ve invited some bright financial minds to share their insights on this issue. What are the big banks and other institutional asset owner’s awareness around this issue, and how can we as concerned citizens and engaged stakeholders, make them take responsibility, and act on this catastrophic risk?
Speakers on the night include:
Simon O’Connor is the CEO of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, an industry body that represents 150 investors managing over $500 billion. Simon is an economist, having worked in various roles at the convergence of economics, finance and sustainability, from consulting to industry, investment analyst, to recent work within the NGO sector, before joining RIAA in 2013. RIAA works with its members to help investors better understand how environmental and social factors impact upon investment returns.
Michael Salvatico - Vice President ESG Client Coverage, MSCI. MSCI is a leading provider of investment decision support tools. The MSCI Global Sustainability Index competitively ranks companies across a set of ESG (Environmental, Social and corporate Governance) signals to establish best practice and identify exposure. Michael is an established research analyst specialising in portfolio analysis and investment strategy and was a cofounder in the Climakind initiative to reduce global carbon emissions by promoting a price on carbon.
Simon Sheikh is the founder of Future Super, a soon to be launched fossil fuel free superannuation fund. Having been the National Director of GetUp and a Financial Analyst at the NSW Treasury Simon will talk about practical steps that Australians can take to shift their money out of fossil fuels.