Environmental activist group Market Forces has accused some of Australia’s top super funds of failing to back up their climate commitments with adequate action. The group has analysed the voting behaviour of the largest 30 super funds in the country on climate-related shareholder proposals as part of a new report. While the total number of climate-related shareholder proposals rose significantly last year, Market Forces said that super fund support for these proposals appeared to be in decline with 53 per cent of votes in favour in 2022, down from 56 per cent in both 2020 and 2021.
Commonwealth Bank Group Super, TelstraSuper, Hostplus, and Mine Super were all found to have failed to support 70 per cent or more of climate-related proposals put forward in 2022. In contrast, Vision Super and NGS Super supported more than 85 per cent of proposals. “Super funds are going backwards on climate action at a time when they must be pulling out all the stops to bring companies into line with their climate commitments,” commented Brett Morgan, superannuation funds campaigner at Market Forces. “Super funds have been telling their members for years they take climate action by voting at company annual general meetings, yet many funds are simply greenwashing while failing to support proposals for genuine emissions reduction.”
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According to Market Forces, funds including TelstraSuper, Mine Super, and Australian Retirement Trust voted against climate proposals which received significant levels of support from other shareholders during 2022.