Climate justice organisation 350 Aotearoa is pleased to see that the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) joined forces with other public funds to sign the Paris Aligned Asset Owner Commitment. As a first measure, ACC must divest from fossil fuels. As of June 2020, ACC had $210 million invested in coal, oil, and gas companies.
“It’s great to see ACC recognising it has an important role to play in supporting the efforts of Aotearoa to limit climate change impacts by aligning with the Paris Agreement. It shows that ACC has recognised its contribution to causing climate change and is taking steps to ensure its duty of care for the people of Aotearoa. ACC is supporting the fossil fuel industry’s continued development by investing our public money in fossil fuel companies. We’re calling on ACC to announce a commitment to divest from all fossil fuel companies by 31st December 2021,” said Alva Feldmeier, Executive Director of 350 Aotearoa.
“ACC is a public investment fund, and it must be invested in the public good, not supporting the world’s biggest polluters.”
350 Aotearoa has been mobilising its people-powered community to call on ACC to divest from fossil fuels since June 2020. People across the motu have been calling on the Board of ACC to divest its $210 billion and stop propping the industry that is most responsible for global heating. The public wants ACC to invest their public money in a safe climate future to ensure that our and future generations have a just and equitable world.
(Fossil Free Aoraki Group at #ACCGoFossilFree Action in Ōtautahi, December 2020)
Alva Feldmeier commented, “The new investment framework is a good starting point, by requiring targets to be set to minimise the impact investments on the planet. However, it fails to explicitly require divestment from fossil fuels.”
“The most effective way we can stop the worst impacts of the climate crisis is by keeping polluting fossil fuels in the ground. In order to do this, we need to stop the flow of money that enables fossil fuel projects to go ahead. It’s simple. Our public funds should be invested in public good, and meet a standard that reflects the urgency of the climate crisis.”
“When Hon Steve Maharey (Chair of ACC) and the ACC Crown Entity Board next meets to discuss this new investment framework, their first measure must be an announcement that ACC will divest in a timely, transparent and robust manner”
Following a series of public actions, in December 2020, the Minister of Finance Hon. Grant Robertson used the annual letter of expectations to ACC’s Board to direct ACC to “accelerate its move to divest from investments in fossil fuels”. ACC is yet to publicly respond to the pressure from the public and the government with a commitment to divest from fossil fuels.
“ACC aims to be a responsible steward, to meet the needs of people in Aotearoa today and tomorrow. We’re calling for ACC’s Board to step up to be a responsible steward of our public money, by divesting from coal, oil, and gas companies and investing in a sustainable future that is better for our families, our environment, and future generations,” said Alva Feldmeier
Alva Feldmeier – 022 4378715