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NZ Super Fund invests in climate change denial

NZ Super Fund invests in climate change denial

Media Release

5th October 2006

The Labour-United-NZ First Government should stop the NZ Super Fund investing our taxes in ExxonMobil because of ExxonMobil’s role in funding the climate change denial industry and in undermining attempts to get action to reduce greenhouse emissions, says the Green Party.

“The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has its second largest global equity holding in ExxonMobil, at $43m, yet ExxonMobil is one of the major funders of the climate change denial industry,” says Russel Norman Green Co-Leader.

“The UK Royal Society recently wrote to ExxonMobil asking it to stop funding those organisations that are misleading the public as to the human causes of climate change. In the US alone the ExxonMobil funding to climate change deniers was US$2.9m in 2005.

ExxonMobil continues to argue that it is “very difficult to determine objectively the extent to which recent climate changes might be the result of human actions” - Exxon Mobil. The UK Royal Society called these statements “very misleading” and “not consistent with the scientific literature that has been published on this issue”.

“The Superannuation Fund is supposed to be about making sure we have a future, instead it is investing in companies that are undermining attempts to ensure that that future isn’t out-of-control climate change and rising sea levels.

“Michael Cullen should give a ministerial direction under section 64 of the Superannuation Act to direct the Fund to withdraw its investment in ExxonMobil if he’s serious about climate change.

“It is questionable whether this investment is even legal given the statutory requirement that the Fund be administered consistent with “avoiding prejudice to New Zealand's reputation as a responsible member of the world community” (s.58). Funding climate change denial will damage New Zealand’s reputation as a responsible member of the world community.

“While we have had disagreements with Labour over the Fund, it did show that Michael Cullen had some long-term vision. Unfortunately, if the Fund continues to invest in companies like ExxonMobil, that vision may be through swimming goggles.”


ENDS

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