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New Report Exposes ACC’s Fossil Fuel Investments And Calls For Divestment Commitment

Today, climate justice organisation 350 Aotearoa releases a report that exposes the relationship between ACC and the fossil fuel industry. 350 Aotearoa Executive Director Alva Feldmeier said, “The urgency to act on climate change has never been so clear. Financing fossil fuels is irresponsible, risky, and immoral. ACC must stop fueling the climate crisis and stop funding coal, oil and gas projects that are wrecking our planet. Right now our public fund ACC is standing in the way of progress and investing our money against the public good.”

“While New Zealand has committed to ban oil and gas exploration, our public funds are being funnelled into local and overseas fossil fuel projects. New Zealanders have a responsibility to hold our public fund to account. What’s more, we need ACC to guarantee they will never invest in, or loan to this dirty industry.”

The report includes five case studies on some of the major players, greenhouse giants, and companies whose activities have most directly affected the people of Aotearoa, the Pacific Island and frontline communities across the world. The aim of the report was to draw the links between the indigenous rights and human rights violations, environmental destruction, health crises, and worker rights crimes that companies such as Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, OMV, Gazprom, and BP have committed and ACC’s investments.

The report also features an analysis of ACC’s full equity list that identified investments in over 200 fossil fuel companies which combined add up to 4.4% of ACC’s total equity investments.

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“ACC has the power to make or break fossil fuel projects. Our financial institutions represent one of the biggest opportunities for systemic change when it comes to divestment. Every divestment further destabilises the fossil fuel industry.”

350 Aotearoa has been mobilising its people-powered community to call on ACC to divest from fossil fuels since June 2020. The government has further underscored the importance of ACC’s action to divest from fossil fuels and reduce emissions in their portfolio with their latest enduring letter of expectations and new investment framework for CFI’s.

Barry Coates, CEO of Mindful Money, adds “Managing climate risk through divesting from fossil fuel producers is not only good for the planet, it is also good investment practice, as the NZ Super Fund has discovered when they divested from most of their fossil fuel holdings. There is also public support - our 2020 annual survey of the New Zealand public shows that 74% of citizens want to avoid fossil fuel investments. ACC should join the global institutions with over US$14 trillion of assets under management in committing to divest from fossil fuels.“

Alva Feldmeier concludes, “We know that no money invested in fossil fuels is a good investment for the health of our planet and people. That is why we are calling upon ACC to publicly announce its commitment to divest from fossil fuels by the end of 2021 and to implement this commitment by the end of 2022”

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