350 Aotearoa is launching a nationwide campaign today calling on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to stop investment in the destructive and increasingly financially risky fossil fuel industry.

The campaign launch coincides with a WWF report released today revealing that NZ Super Fund’s has over $440 million invested in the fossil fuel industry.

350 Aotearoa have launched an online email platform asking supporters to write directly to NZ Super Fund CEO Adrian Orr, calling for the Fund to divest from fossil fuels and increase investment in renewable energy.

“Its fairly simple.” says 350 Aotearoa spokesperson Ashlee Gross.  “The Super Fund is a fund for our future. So it doesn’t make sense to be investing in an industry whose business model is intent on destroying it. The long-term costs will greatly outweigh short-term profits, and particularly a long-term focused fund can’t ignore that.”   

350 is urging the Super Fund to follow the lead of other financial institutions including major Norwegian pension fund Storebrand, the World Bank and dutch-owned Rabobank who have all recently announced changes in policy on investment or loans to parts of the fossil fuel industry.

It’s not only an ethical issue that 350 is raising.  They point to reports from HSBC, Standards & Poor and Moody’s that recognise that as the world shifts towards taking action on climate change, and at the same time gas, oil and coal become more expensive to extract, the returns from investing in fossil fuels will decrease.

Studies show over 80% of proven fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground if we are to stay within the internationally agreed target of 2 degrees global warming. Under current financial rules, fossil fuel companies are allowed to list these “unburnable” reserves as assets. This has given rise to concern of a financial “carbon bubble”.

“The case for divesting the Super Fund is particularly strong as it is not intended to start paying out, as a top-up to the current NZS system, for another 16 years, which means it has a specific remit for thinking long-term on its investments.”

For questions please contact Ashlee Gross, National Coordinator on 0272626121 or at ashlee@350.org.nz.