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Climate groups to rally NZ banks

9 May 2019

Climate groups to rally NZ banks to break ties with fossil fuel companies

On Friday 10th and Saturday 11th May, grassroots climate action groups across Aotearoa will take action to call for banks in New Zealand to stop lending to or investing in fossil fuel companies. The events in Auckland, Kāpiti, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, and Dunedin are coordinated by 350 Aotearoa, as part of their Fossil Free Banks campaign, calling for banks to cut their ties with the fossil fuel industry.

The events across Aotearoa will include a series of challenges for participants to be part of, to represent the steps each bank needs to take to cut all corporate ties with the fossil fuel industry. For example, on Friday 10th May in Auckland, attendees will join teams to represent three New Zealand banks in a race to go ‘Fossil Free’: TSB, The Co-operative Bank, and Kiwibank. Each bank team will participate in challenges including a coal and spoon race, and a race to fill up a ‘carbon sink’, representing keeping coal, oil, and gas in the ground. Similar challenges are happening on Saturday 11th May in Nelson and Christchurch, where attendees will be challenged to throw ‘coal back in the hole’. Each action is taking part to engage the public in the link between banks in Aotearoa and the fossil fuel industry, and to call on TSB, Kiwibank and the Co-operative Bank to show a commitment to action on climate change by implementing ethical lending and investment policies.

350 Aotearoa spokesperson, Erica Finnie, said, “Our major banks are stopping the vital transition to 100% clean energy by funnelling billions of dollars towards fossil fuel companies and projects. New Zealanders need a bank we can trust to keep our money out of coal, oil and gas. We’re calling on our New Zealand-owned banks to take a stand by creating ethical investment and lending policies that ensure not a cent of our money will ever go towards financing coal, oil, or gas.”

“In 2019 it’s appalling that New Zealanders don’t have a bank that takes a stand against supporting the fossil fuel industry. We are coming together across the country to demand that our banks step up and respond to customers’ demand for a banking option that is committed to climate leadership.”

The actions across Aotearoa specifically call on New Zealand-owned banks Kiwibank, TSB, and the Co-operative Bank to take leadership and commit to going “Fossil Free”. This requires them to create and publish an ethical investment policy that rules out investing in, and an ethical lending policy that rules out lending to or underwriting, the fossil fuel industry.

“New Zealand-owned banks are in the best position to show leadership by committing to policies that acknowledge that banks have a major role to play in stopping the worst of climate change. Banks have the power to morally bankrupt the fossil fuel industry by refusing to invest in or lend to their business model that is wrecking our planet now, and for future generations.”
The actions are taking place outside bank branches and in central streets of major cities and towns in Aotearoa.

Event details:

Auckland
When: 11am, Friday 10th May
Where: Kiwibank, 24 Wellesley Street West

Kāpiti
When: 3.30-4.30pm Friday 10th May
Where: Kiwibank, Coastlands Mall, Coastlands Parade, Paraparaumu

Wellington
When: 11am, Saturday 11th May
Where: Glover Park, Te Aro

Nelson
When: 10am, Saturday 11th May
Where: 219 Trafalgar Street, Nelson

Christchurch
When: 11am, Saturday 11th May
Where: 662 Colombo Street, Christchurch

Dunedin
When: 10am, Saturday 11th May
Where: 22 Anzac Ave, Dunedin

ENDS.

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