Topic: Environment

Auckland Council look to invest responsibly

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

The Auckland Council voted to withdraw all investments in companies that produce fossil fuels, the development of controversial weapons, tobacco and gambling. 

The Auckland Council's Finance and Performance Committee decided to implement a policy that would exclude all fossil fuel companies from its investments, and pull all $15 million of its current investments out of the industry.

Auckland Council Councillor Ross Clow says, “Councillors asked for the review a few years ago basically because we're watching what others are doing but it was just driven by a genuine desire for us to come into line and do what responsible investors should be doing and going into cleaner portfolios simple as that.”

350 Aotearoa is an international lobby group that submitted a petition to voice their concerns about the Council's investments.

“To call on Auckland Council to do the right thing and pull their investments from coal, oil and gas, because at the moment they're invested in things like Anadarko and ExxonMobil who are literally causing climate change.”

Dr Robert Howell has published a book that encourages responsible investment in people and the environment. He was there to make a submission to the Council.

“The evidence is overwhelming that that's harmful to life on the planet and we need, every organisation throughout the world, needs to start shifting out of fossil fuels and particularly coal.”

Green Party MP Gareth Hughes also made a submission to support calls for the Council to divest.

Green Party List MP Gareth Hughes says, “Not only is it risky in terms of one day we're going to have to stop burning this stuff, it's not performing as well as responsible investments. I think critically though Auckland Council should be playing a leadership role part of the national movement to protect our climate for our kids.”

Councillor Ross Clow believes it is time for the Auckland Council to get it right.

“It is overdue, it is overdue, we're a little bit behind others, we had a fairly tight policy before but we've tightened it up further.”

The policy has been set. In June the Council will decide on how the investment funds are used.