Large Goverment fund investments are favouring fossil fuels over renewables by a factor of 47 to one, according to a report by the Australian Conservation Foundation. The report found that Government-owned investment funds, including the Federal Future Fund and funds owned by state government bodies such the Workcover Authority, are investing in ways which are in direct conflict with stated government policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A spokesman for the New South Wales Treasurer, Michael Costa, said that the NSW Government would continue to invest in fossil fuels and uranium "so long as the goods and services produced are legally available to the community. The primary objective for major Government-run funds is to maximise returns from their investment portfolios."
A South Australian Government spokesman said that the report is misleading because it does not include private sector investment. Simon O’Connor of the ACF responded that, if the Government is somehow providing strong financial support for the renewables industry through the private sector, it should make that public.
He went on to point out that "Environmental risk, if it’s not being addressed appropriately, can have a materially-negative impact on investment performance, So we’re not saying to do anything altruistic or morally supported here, we’re just saying this is a risk issue for your investment holdings and it’s very important that you look at climate risk across your investment portfolio."