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Australian Retirement Trust (ART) was proud to host the second Australian Treasurer’s Investor Roundtable, where the Australian Government committed to three measures aimed at helping shift Australia towards becoming a renewable energy superpower.
The event was held in our new ART offices in Brisbane on 21 April, just over two weeks before the Australian Government delivered the 2023-24 Federal Budget on 9 May.
QSuper, is now a part of Australian Retirement Trust following a merger with Sunsuper in February 2022 to create one of Australia’s largest super funds. 2.2 million Australians trust us to take care of over $240 billion of their retirement savings.
The Investor Roundtable brought together representatives from the 20 biggest super funds, banks and fund management executives across Australia.
Our Chair Andrew Fraser attended the roundtable, along with Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Senator Jenny McAllister, as well as industry experts.
The Australian Government said the roundtable provided a platform for governments, investors, banks, global asset managers and super funds to work together to boost investment in cheaper, cleaner, more reliable energy and help achieve net zero emissions.
Mr Fraser said the event discussed the advantages and challenges in funding Australia’s climate transition.
“The need for everyone, investors and government, to settle clear rules was the priority of the discussion, and when we move at the required pace ART’s members get the benefit of meeting this investment challenge.”
The Government said the country’s economic prospects would be determined in large part by how the country managed and maximised the energy transformation.1
“By working together, we can create new jobs and industries and leverage our traditional economic strengths,” Mr Chalmers said.
“That’s what the Treasurer’s Investor Roundtable series is all about ─ aligning the work of government and investors when it comes to our big national priorities.”
The Investor Roundtable focused on:
At the roundtable, the Government committed to these new measures:
Sovereign Green Bonds
Under a new Sovereign Green Bonds program, investors will be able to back public projects driving Australia’s net zero transformation. The program will aim to boost the scale and credibility of Australia’s green finance market.
The program aims to increase transparency around climate outcomes and the scale of green investments available. It will be managed by the Australian Office of Financial Management and is expected to begin in mid-2024.
Expanded energy efficiency ratings
The Government aims to help unlock cheaper home loans and cheaper financing for home upgrades by updating and expanding a national energy performance rating scheme for existing residential properties.
It said many older homes didn’t meet modern energy efficiency standards. The Government will expand and upgrade the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme rating system to apply to existing homes.
The Government is also working with banks to pilot ways to add energy performance into the set of factors that valuers assess when they do house assessments.
Integrity boost for green investments
The Government will co-fund an initial development phase of an Australian Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. It will partner industry through the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute.
The taxonomy aims to attract more green investment to Australia by helping investors target particular sustainability objectives. It aims to make sure investments deliver on their sustainability claims.
The Government will also provide an extra $4.3 million to help ASIC to crack down on businesses making misleading claims about the sustainability or efficiency of their products.
The Treasurer’s Investor Roundtable was established in October 2022 to identify and unlock investment opportunities in national priority areas. The first roundtable was held in November 2022. It focused on housing. The roundtables are planned to be held every quarter.
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1. Media Release, Australian Government Treasury, 21 April 2023, Investor roundtable aligns efforts to deliver cleaner, cheaper energy, at ministers.treasury.gov.au, accessed 2 May 2023
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