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350 Calls for TSB to Go Fossil Free

Press Release

3rd March 2015

350 Calls for TSB to Go Fossil Free

Today 350 Aotearoa has launched a petition calling for TSB Bank to make a commitment to being fossil fuel free. The petition comes after TSB Bank, the Taranaki community-owned bank, last week announced it had written down its remaining $53.9 million debt exposure it had to Solid Energy as the company’s prospects continue to decline.

“With climate scientists telling us that we must leave 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground, it is no longer morally acceptable for our banks to be funding the fossil fuel industry, much less using our money to bail out the industry when it goes belly up,” said Niamh O’Flynn, National Coordinator for 350 Aotearoa.

“We think it’s time for TSB to cut its ties and its losses. Now that TSB will no longer be lending to Solid Energy, it’s time to lead the way and turn its back on the fossil fuel industry and commit to being fossil free,” O’Flynn said.

As Rhys Taylor from Geraldine said, “As a long-standing TSB retail customer, I was disappointed to learn today that my bank has written down the value of all Solid Energy bonds they hold and thus taken a major hit to their annual profits, with I’d say, low prospect of getting any of it back. This state owned enterprise was clearly not such a good investment.”

If there was any question of fossil fuels being considered sound investments, after the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, dumped it’s fossil fuel investments, the case was made very clear.

Meanwhile, Dunedin City Council last week announced it was divesting $558,225 worth of shares in petroleum companies because of their underperformance - in advance of their full divestment moves, which have been awaiting final approval by council.

“This price collapse supports my view that there’s no long term commercial future in fossil fuels – the planet cannot afford these carbon emissions,” said Taylor.

350 Aotearoa will be collecting signatures for the petition over the coming weeks.


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