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350 Aotearoa Calls for Fossil-Free Banking

Press Release – 350 Aotearoa

On Global Divestment Day (13th and 14th Feb), 350 Aotearoa will launch their new Fossil Free Banks campaign. The campaign is tackling fossil fuel investment in the banking industry in New Zealand. The major banks that operate in NZ invest billions …350 Aotearoa Calls for Fossil-Free Banking on Global Divestment Day

February 2015

350 Aotearoa Calls for Fossil-Free Banking on Global Divestment Day

On Global Divestment Day (13th and 14th Feb), 350 Aotearoa will launch their new Fossil Free Banks campaign. The campaign is tackling fossil fuel investment in the banking industry in New Zealand. The major banks that operate in NZ invest billions of dollars in the fossil fuel industry (with few exceptions), and currently there are no personal banking options here that have a policy stating their commitment to excluding fossil fuels from their portfolios.

“The major banks operating here in New Zealand pride themselves on their sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility policies, while at the same time they are funding and profiting from the destruction of the planet”,said Niamh O’Flynn, National Coordinator of 350 Aotearoa.

Recent research highlights that in order to avoid catastrophic climate change, 80% of current fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. This requires an active move away from fossil fuel reliance, extraction and expansion.

“Kiwis deserve banking options that are committed to being fossil-free. The time for divestment is now.”
“The economic logic for divestment is rock solid,” says business journalist Rod Oram.
“The nations of the world can only emit another 500 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases if we are to keep global warming to less than 2 degrees C. Yet, fossil fuel companies already own far more oil, gas and coal than could ever be safely burnt within the cap. They have absolutely no need for investment funds to finance further exploration. Thus, responsible, wise investors are withdrawing their capital from fossil fuel companies and investing instead in clean energy.”

350 Aotearoa is campaigning alongside many other organisations globally who are pushing for major educational, religious, political, and financial institutions to divest from fossil fuels. Global Divestment Day is an opportunity for people all over the world to take action to further delegitimise the fossil fuel industry. On Friday and Saturday, groups in Northland, Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin will be joining the global movement.

The divestment movement is the fastest growing movement in history, with success stories continuously building, including the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, the World Council of Churches, and the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund (the largest in the world, with close to a trillion NZ dollars), all committing to divest their interests from fossil fuels. In New Zealand, Victoria University, and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia have recently pledged to divest, and just this week Christchurch City Holdings and the Tertiary Education Union have announced their commitment to being fossil-free.
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