Peak advocacy group National Seniors Australia is calling on the Federal government to allow everyday investors to buy the government's proposed Green Bonds.
New National Seniors research shows older people want simple and safe ways to invest with many willing to invest in solutions to climate change.
The research found one in four people aged 50 and older invests in term deposits or government bonds with a majority of these (54 per cent) interested in buying Green Bonds.
The latest Intergenerational Report argues that population ageing and climate change will be some of Australia's biggest challenges.
"People want simple, safe ways to invest," said chief advocate Ian Henschke. "For most, their only option is government backed term deposits."
The government proposed Green Bonds will be will be issued via the ASX in mid-2024 but will be available only to institutional investors.
"Our research shows, tens of thousands of ordinary Australians could contribute billions, if Green Bonds were readily available to them the way term deposits are.
"The United Kingdom is ahead of us on this."
To help meet its 2050 emissions target, the UK government has issued Green Savings Bonds for as little as £100 (approx. $187AUD) or as much as £100,000. The bonds are available via the national savings bank the NS&I. Green Savings Bonds now pay an annual interest rate of 5.7 per cent over three years, with the money used to fund environmental projects.
"Like our UK friends, older Australians want to be a part of the solution," Mr Henschke said. "Government should make the purchase of its Green Bonds as simple as walking into a Post Office or a bank, just like the UK."
National Seniors member, Prof Rob Morrison (former presenter of science program The Curiosity Show), said he would buy Green Bonds for himself and for his grandchild if they were available.
"Investing in projects with a positive impact on the environment, is a simple solution to our biggest challenge. It's not a radical idea. The UK government is already doing it," Prof Morrison said.
"It amazes me that Green Bonds are not readily available in Australia given all the blustering from state and federal governments about the need for us to be a world-leader in green technology."
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