The following is a list of recent campaign activities that 350 Aotearoa and our local groups have organised. For a list of institutions that have divested from fossil fuels in Aotearoa, please go here.
Global Divestment Mobilization
In May 2017, activists all over the world put pressure on various institutions to pull their funding from oil, gas and coal production. A total of 280 events occurred in 45 countries, involving thousands of people.
Here in Aotearoa (as well as Australia), we focused pulling support from the proposed Adani Coal Mine project in Carmichael, Australia.
If it goes ahead, it will be the world’s largest coal mine and built directly on Aboriginal land. The mine will destroy Indigenous land, contribute to the further decimation of the Great Barrier Reef, and contribute significantly to climate change in general.
In Wellington, we brought rising sea levels to the Australian High Commission to highlight the effects climate change will have on Wellington, and to tell Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull to quit funding the Adani Carmichael coal mine.
In Auckland, we rallied outside the Australian Consulate…with a twist. As the Australian government is so keen to support the coal mine, we thought they might like a few more climate deniers in their midst to make them a bit more comfortable. We arrived dressed as dinosaurs, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, and other politicians, and gave away Australian visas to climate deniers.
In Christchurch, we celebrated Westpac’s decision to withdraw funding from the Adani Coal Mine, and congratulated Westpac for taking positive steps towards reducing their impact on our planet.
In Dunedin, we took bold, creative action to let ANZ know that investing in fossil fuels is still not okay. We “Rick-Rolled” the bank, flooding into the bank and blasting Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
Westpac pulls out of giant Adani coal mine
Due to a groundswell of pressure from climate activists from Australia and New Zealand, Westpac finally committed not to fund the giant coal mine in Queensland, Australia: The Adani Carmichael coal mine. We are now working on getting the Australian government to halt its support of the mine.
NZ Super Fund campaign
Funding giant, Vanguard International, stated that it would base its ethical investment principles on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. This means that if NZ Super Fund divests from fossil fuels, there will be a domino effect due to Vanguard also divesting. Multiple KiwiSavers use Vanguard as a fund provider, so if they divest, it will make divestment a lot easier for KiwiSaver schemes (see below).
News of the default KiwiSaver funds’ investments in cluster bombs shocked people around the country. In addition, these funds are also invested in fossil fuels, which have similar destructive abilities to weapons – the climate catastrophes they cause decimate entire villages, towns, and ecosystems.
The new KiwiSaver scheme, Simplicity, has the power to pressure funding giant Vanguard International to go Fossil Free. We put told them to pressure Vanguard to divest from fossil fuels.
We are currently focusing on educating people about their KiwiSaver funds, so they can make their own decisions about where to put their money (see current campaigns).
Auckland Council divests from coal, oil and gas
After a long campaign from volunteers at 350 Auckland, Auckland Council announced on April 11, 2017 that they would fully divest from fossil fuels.
Auckland Council pulled its more than $15 million out of oil companies like Exxon and Anadarko. They are now consistent with their commitment to the C40 Initiative, and their a Low Carbon Action Plan.
University of Canterbury partially divests
In April 2017, University of Canterbury announced that they would pull all of their direct investments from fossil fuel companies, and keep indirect investments below 1%.
University of Otago divests
On September 13, 2016, Otago University announced that they were withdrawing their investments in coal, gas and oil. This was a hard-won campaign that took a huge amount of work by dedicated students, staff and supporters. Much celebrating was had. Otago University is the second New Zealand university to divest from fossil fuels, after Victoria University of Wellington.
ANZ pulls out of Petroleum Conference sponsorship
ANZ was previously a gold level sponsor of the Petroleum Conference, where New Zealand government and leading companies in the oil industry came together to discuss the dirty future of New Zealand’s energy. Due to pressure from 350 Aotearoa’s protests, ANZ chose not to sponsor the 2016 Petroleum Conference!
Break Free Aotearoa
Break Free from Fossil Fuels 2016 was a global movement to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground. For two weeks in May, more than 30,000 people across the world participated in peaceful actions to demand that fossil fuels stay in the ground.
Here in New Zealand, 500 motivated enthusiasts and local volunteers from 350 Aotearoa around the country were involved in peaceful protests against fossil fuels. Break Free Aotearoa’s campaign targeted ANZ bank, due to ANZ being the largest lender to fossil fuel projects in Australasia. Break free in Aotearoa was launched with a beach party! Then, ANZ banks in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin were blockaded and and/or shutdown by protesters standing up for the environment. A big thank you to everyone involved!
Dunedin City Council divests
In May 2015, Dunedin City Council voted to divest all shares in fossil fuel extraction companies, allowing 2 years for full divestment.
Christchurch City partially divests
In 2014, Christchurch City Holding Limited decided on a policy not to invest in “companies whose primary focus is the extraction and production of fossil fuels.” This has been deemed as a partial divestment, and we look to hold Christchurch to exclude all companies involved in any fossil fuel activity in the future.