Guest essay by Eric Worrall
AMP forges new path by appointing climate denier as chairman
On Friday 4 May, AMP announced the appointment of climate change-denying former Commonwealth Bank CEO and Future Fund Chairman David Murray as its new chairman, ahead of the company’s annual general meeting in Melbourne on Thursday.
Murray’s appointment is in response to the loss of AMP’s Chairman, CEO and Company Secretary, who left in the wake of scandals that have emerged from the Royal Commission into the financial sector.
If AMP’s Board is after forward-thinking leadership to tackle the challenges ahead for the financial sector, Murray’s views on climate change and even climate scientists give a clear indication mean we can abandon hope from day one about how the company will handle climate risk.
In an October 2013 interview on the ABC Latelineprogram, Murray said “the climate problem is severely was overstated” and, when asked what it would take to convince him of the science, he replied: “when I see some evidence of integrity among the scientists themselves”.
Imagine the hubris of mere business people believing that decades of real world insurance industry experience can compete with the expert insights of government grant funded academics.
It was bad enough when Warren Buffett set himself up as some kind of authority on insurance. Now that other companies are defying climate advice, where will it end?