Climate justice organisation 350 Aotearoa is pleased to see that the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is preparing to launch a $50 million climate fund, but is concerned this is a distraction from ACC’s investments in the fossil fuel industry. As of June 2020, ACC had $210 million invested in coal, oil, and gas companies. The public and government are still waiting on ACC to announce a plan to divest from this high-polluting industry that is most responsible for global emissions causing climate change.

“It’s great to see ACC recognising it has an important role to play in supporting Aotearoa’s efforts to limit climate change impacts by establishing a climate impact fund. However, ACC must recognise it is complicit in causing climate change. 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 July 2021,” said Erica Finnie, 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. 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 moves to divest from investments in fossil fuels”. ACC is yet to respond to pressure from the public and the government with a commitment to divest from fossil fuels.

On Monday 21 June, 350 Aotearoa released crowd-funded posters in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, highlighting that ACC divestment from fossil fuels is an opportunity for ACC to live up to its values.

Crowd-funded ACC Poster on Lambton Quay

“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 Finnie.