Super funds should be ready to treat climate change as an investment
opportunity, not only an investment risk, according to one of the speakers at
the upcoming Australian Super Investment Conference, to be held on the Gold
Coast September 16-18.

One of the plenary sessions at the conference is: ‘Pathways to a
Low-Carbon Economy’, which will look at where most of the investment is likely
to be, how institutional investors worldwide are reacting and what Australia’s
super funds need to do to position themselves for the opportunities.

Nathan Fabian, the chief executive of Investor Group on Climate
Change, says that the transition to a low-carbon economy will require
best endeavors in energy
efficiency, energy-switching, low-carbon transport, agricultural processes and

“This is a perfect problem for
a market-based response – if regulatory clarity is provided,” he says.
Fabian will be speaking at the ASI conference alongside Greg Lavery, a
principal of Booz & Co, and Michael O’Sullivan, the president of the Australian
Council of Superannuation Investors.

Fabian says: “We know that
public funding will get the ball rolling, but private investment will be what
makes or breaks the low-carbon transformation globally. Many of the biggest
opportunities will be in offsetting and renewable energy projects in emerging
economies – creating access and governance challenges for Australian investors
in the first instance. But there will also be many opportunities in the built
environment, agriculture and energy sectors in Australia.

“Australian superannuation funds should be ready to treat climate change as an
investment opportunity – not only an investment risk. As progress in the EU is
showing, climate change will move from the purview of the responsible
investment team to the mainstream brokers and sector analysts and very quickly.

“There is a new language for
Superannuation funds to learn to ensure they understand the emerging low-carbon
investment landscape.”

The ASI conference, part of the
AIST calendar, has a total of 13 plenary sessions this year, under the theme: ‘Investing
in a Post-Crisis World’.

The general investment outlook
will be discussed as well as the prospects of individual asset classes.

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