August 2, 2016
Contact: Sandy Hildebrandt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Auckland Council is currently investing tens of millions of dollars in fossil fuel companies like Exxon and Anadarko, despite its commitment to being a world leader on climate change. Auckland is part of the C40 group of cities and has pledged to cut greenhouse gas pollution by 40%.
The council was embarrassed by reports on Monday that it had investments in tobacco, alcohol, and soft drink companies, and its “responsible investment policy” also does not exclude oil, gas and coal – pollutants that are responsible for global climate devastation. Its investments totaled $320 million.
“Auckland Council is defaulting on its climate commitments by putting its money in companies whose practices clearly undermine the Low Carbon Auckland Action Plan,” said 350 Aotearoa spokesperson, Sandy Hildebrandt.
“Just as the council has been embarrassed by revelations it is heavily invested in substances that it bans in some areas, it should also be questioning its investments in companies responsible for driving climate change.”
350 Aotearoa is calling on Auckland Council to divest from fossil fuel companies and join cities like Dunedin, Washington, D.C., and Copenhagen in becoming fossil free. City councils, along with universities, faith based groups and foundations have divested a total of $3.4 trillion from fossil fuel companies.
“Auckland has the largest population of Pacific people of any city in the world,” added Hildebrandt, “and yet our council is funding companies that are directly responsible for the destruction and drowning of Pacific Islands.”
“Mayor Len Brown has acknowledged Auckland’s status as the capital of Polynesia as part of his motivation for joining the C40 City initiative,” stated Hildebrandt.
According to the Low Carbon Action Plan, fulfilling Auckland’s greenhouse gas reductions would require“[l]ong-term structural, policy and regulatory changes…as well as a significant shift in capital investment and individual, group and industry behaviour.”
“Now it’s time for the council to acknowledge the role its finances play in achieving – or blocking – climate solutions. Auckland Council needs to divest from fossil fuels.”