A crucial opportunity has been missed with the omission of climate change from November’s G20 Summit agenda, former Liberal Party leader Dr John Hewson has claimed.

“It’s hard to see why they would want to separate economic growth and climate change,” Dr Hewson said.

“They try and make it a choice between growth and responding to climate change but it’s a choice we don’t need to make.”

Dr John Hewson, chair of the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, will outline why he believes climate change should be on the G20 agenda at a major Brisbane conference next Tuesday.

He will take part in a session on how capital markets address un-burnable carbon at the ‘Economic Growth, Climate Change and the G20’ conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The one-day conference will be hosted by Griffith University’s Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise.

Dr Hewson will be joined by Tim Buckley (Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis), Paul Peters (Global Venture Partners) and Green Cross Australia’s Mara Bun to consider how superannuation investments could be exposed by stranded assets as a result of the move towards a low carbon world.

Asset Owners Disclosure Project is an independent not-for-profit global organisation whose objective is to protect members’ retirement saving from the risks posed by climate change.

The pace of the move to renewable technologies is accelerating rapidly. For example, it has been suggested that large-scale power plants and grids are set to become extinct. Electrical cars are expected to be cost-competitive by 2020 and significantly cheaper by 2025.

“There is an ongoing move towards some sort of global agreement on emissions reductions ahead of next year’s UN Climate Change conference in Paris.

“One of these factors or a combination of these processes could have a serious impact on businesses and organisations with a carbon intensive focus.

“Global superannuation funds are significantly exposed to this risk — specifically the value of their investments becoming stranded.

“Superannuation funds need to identify the risks and consider hedging risk or reducing exposure by increasing investments in renewable energy and low carbon intensive industries.”

Senator Larissa Waters (Australian Greens Senator for QLD), Professor Clive Hamilton (Charles Sturt University) and Professor Ian Lowe from Griffith’s School of Natural Sciences will be among the other speakers at Tuesday’s conference, while US economist and director of The Earth Institute Jeffrey Sachs will also take part via video conference.

Further details are available here.