8 August: Climate justice organisations say that the renewable infrastructure Aotearoa needs should be resourced directly by the Government – funded by making corporate polluters pay. This comes in response to today’s announcement the Government and Blackrock have collaborated to create a $2 billion renewable energy fund.

ActionStation’s Climate Justice Organiser India Logan-Riley says “People in Aotearoa want the foundations of our communities to be resilient and sustainable for ourselves and for our grandchildren. The grid our power depends on must be reliable and clean. This means investing in our energy system is important but this shouldn’t be leveraged to sell our public infrastructure off to overseas corporations. Infrastructure, like the trains we catch and the pipes that provide clean water to our taps, are public necessities that should not be captured by corporate interests. Asset exploiters like BlackRock are driven by profits and short-term thinking, not public good. This will end up costing citizens more to pad BlackRock’s profits that end up going to shareholders rather than back into local communities.”

350 Aotearoa’s climate campaigner Adam Currie says: “Clean, homegrown energy has the power to protect our climate and usher in a new era of abundant, resilient and affordable energy for all. Instead of begging for private investment, the government should be taxing big polluters – then investing directly in renewable infrastructure projects for public good. The profits are there – between 2014 and 2021, the Gentailers distributed $3.7 billion in excess dividends. The government should tax polluters profits – and invest in the community and kaupapa Māori energy projects who are already leading the way across Aotearoa. This government can and should be focussing on delivering publicly-owned and publicly-funded infrastructure projects.”

Oxfam Aotearoa Climate Justice Lead Nick Henry says: “Aotearoa needs a full, fast, fair and funded phase out of the last lingering fossil fuels in our energy system. A Just Transition needs to be co-designed with Mana Whenua, workers and their unions, and all communities. It’s unclear though why a private equity partnership is the proposed solution, when Government could be raising revenue to invest in transition by taxing wealth and excess profits, and making polluters pay the true cost of their carbon emissions.”

“It’s important to remember that neither BlackRock, nor New Zealand, are by any means climate leaders. For every dollar committed today, Blackrock owns a tonne or so of thermal coal reserves. Let’s also remember that New Zealand was by no means the first country to set a 100% renewable target – Tokelau is already 100% renewable,” Currie says.

Helpful report on Blackrock fuelling climate breakdown: https://blackrocksbigproblem.com/

350 Aotearoa tonight is launching a documentary on the power of homegrown energy, at 6:30 at Acadamy cinemas. https://350.org.nz/we-can-produce-our-own-power/

Report on excess dividends distributed by the Gentailers: https://350.org.nz/generating-scarcity-report/

Note Blackrock is currently the fourth largest shareholder in the mixed ownership companies (Meridian, Mercury and Genesis); Blackrock’s collective shareholding is valued at NZ$642 million across those three firms. 

  Shareholder # Share (%) Value (US$ mn) NZ$ mn
Meridian 4 1.751 251.8 412.952
Mercury 4 1.133 114.7 188.108
Genesis 4                 0.858                       25.0 41
TOTAL 642.06