Superannuation funds are invested in existing infrastructure, which has an unsteady future on the basis of climate change risks, increasing energy costs and energy shortages.
“Industry funds stand ready to help – but if action isn’t taken, we risk failing generations of Australians,” said Industry Super Australia’s chief economist Stephen Anthony.
“While the climate debate rages on, Australia’s ageing energy infrastructure continues to fall further and further behind the rest of the world. Much of the heavy industry has already gone, costing jobs and driving power costs up even further,” said Mr Anthony.
The hurdles: a coal v renewables debate
Industry Super Australia suggests debates about the energy sector have been too squarely focused on coal versus renewables.
Rather, the debate should be centred around the needs of today’s power and what technologies will exist in the future.
“The existing fleet of baseload generators need replacing, while there must be an agreed pathway to progressively phase out coal-fired generators,” continued Mr Anthony.
“This is where industry funds can contribute. They can preempt future government decision-making to fill potholes in grids, replace existing network capacity, or develop innovative financial products that better helps to manage risks both here and overseas,” he said.
Investment in booming and growing industries is what ultimately reaps returns for investors, particularly those with a long investment horizon, such as those in superannuation funds.