The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) has welcomed the release of the Federal Government’s Sustainable Finance Strategy consultation paper and the focus on reforms that will support investors in driving long-term returns.
The consultation paper includes initiatives that aim to support a more sustainable finance sector tackling challenges relating to climate change and nature.
“A comprehensive sustainable finance strategy will support markets in preparing to meet the challenges and opportunities of the next decade and strengthen markets as we make the transition to a low carbon economy,” said Louise Davidson, ACSI CEO.
ACSI also welcomes the focus on investor stewardship in the consultation paper.
“Superannuation funds are focussed on delivering financial outcomes in the best financial interest of their members. As stewards of retirement savings, super funds use their ownership rights to engage with companies and advocate for policy reform that aims to strengthen the long-term performance of the companies and markets in which they invest,” Ms Davidson said.
“Greater recognition of stewardship in Australia will strengthen the quality and integrity of financial markets, and support longer-term sustainability and value creation.”
The proposed Sustainable Finance Strategy acknowledges that while Australia’s private sector has led the way on these issues, there is a critical role for Government leadership. It also recognises the need for consistency between financial sector policy settings and Australia’s wider climate, economic and environmental policy.
“We welcome the ambition set out in the Strategy, including the objective of ensuring that climate and sustainability related opportunities and risks are well understood and managed at both entity and systemic level. We look forward to continuing to encourage focus on these issues and to working with the Government and others in the financial sector to further develop the Strategy and its initiatives,” Ms Davidson said.