NZ Super Fund divests from high risk fossil fuels

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, August 16th, 2017 - 7 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Economy, Environment - Tags: , , ,

350 Aotearoa’s press release at Scoop:

Super Fund divestment shows real climate leadership

Tuesday, 15 August 2017, 2:31 pm Press Release: 350 Aotearoa

350 Aotearoa is calling the news of the NZ Superannuation Fund, “an outstanding example of people-power pushing organisational leadership for New Zealand on climate change”. Today The NZ Superannuation Fund announced that it will be moving NZ$950 million away from companies with high exposure to the fossil fuel industry, after more than a year long NZ Super Fund divestment campaign by 350 Aotearoa.

“Divesting from fossil fuels shows real leadership. Nobody wants to see their retirement savings being used to wreck the future that they will be retiring into,” said Niamh O’Flynn, Executive Director of 350 Aotearoa.

In October 2016, 350 Aotearoa led an open letter from eleven* civil society organisations, representing thousands of New Zealanders, calling for the NZ Superannuation Fund to commit to divesting from fossil fuels.

Today’s announcement comes just days after Commonwealth Bank Australia’s shareholders filed a lawsuit against the bank for failing to adequately disclose the risk climate changes poses to its financial position.

“Financial risk aside, investing in the fossil fuel industry is a huge reputational risk. More and more investors are waking up to the fact that people expect more accountability and action on climate change.

“The tide is turning against investors who prop up the fossil fuel industry. We’ve seen that several times this year with large NZ insurer, MAS, becoming fossil free, and Auckland Council choosing to divest from fossil fuels hot on the heels of Otago and Canterbury Universities,” said O’Flynn.

“Some of the world’s worst polluters are vying for more fossil fuel development here in NZ, including Anadarko, Shell and StatOil. The Super Fund’s divestment decision sends a strong message to them that their time here is limited. Now it’s time for the government to step up and show the same kind of foresight. Any party that is serious about leading this country should look to follow in the Super Fund’s steps.”

You can see more of what @350nz do and support them at their website.

Green Party press release:

Super Fund divestment shifts the ground overnight on carbon risks

James Shaw MP on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 – 11:20

The Green Party welcomes today’s announcement that the New Zealand Superannuation Fund has dumped $950 million of high-risk fossil fuel investments, despite a National Government that is still backing oil and coal.

The $35 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund announced today that it has sold off $950 million of companies with high exposure to carbon emissions and fossil fuel reserves due to the significant long-term risks they present to investors. The selloff includes New Zealand companies Genesis Energy and NZ Oil and Gas.

“This is very big. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund’s divestment from high-risk fossil fuel companies is ground-breaking and brings home the huge economic shifts happening overseas as the world rapidly transitions to a low carbon economy,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“We’ve pushed for years for the Super Fund to show strong leadership on climate change and today that move was decisive.

“The Super Fund has divested from fossil fuels in line with best practice overseas, showing real leadership on climate change here at home.

“Nine years of National’s lack of economic and climate leadership has made us forget about the seismic changes happening overseas that we also need to make if we want to stay competitive while lowering our carbon emissions.

“The Super Fund has recognised that investments in fossil fuel companies could soon become ‘stranded’, rapidly losing their value, and our government needs to do the same.

“The larger $41 billion ACC Investment Fund has taken no action on climate change and the material risks it poses to the value of its investments.

“National has opened up half-a-million square kilometres of our oceans for oil and gas prospecting and is actively promoting coal mining in the conservation estate.

“The Green Party in government would lead the shift in our economy to become carbon neutral by 2050, and stop being a champion for the polluting fossil fuel industry,” said Mr Shaw.

7 comments on “NZ Super Fund divests from high risk fossil fuels”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1


  2. Damn good idea. They look like being very under performing investments over the next 20-30 years bearing in mind the rate that other energy storage and generation technologies are moving along.

    New sources of hydrocarbons are likely to be way more expensive than the reserves already known, and are unlikely to be needed for multiple reasons. Most of the investment opportunities are in finding or developing new fields rather than old fields.

    Of course fossil fuels also carry a major environmental and regulatory risks, and are getting way more unpopular with both the markets and the public.

  3. patricia bremner 3

    Brilliant. Sends the right message, these are not the future.
    Invest in renewables.

  4. infused 4

    How did these guys win again? It would have happened regardless. The massive push globally for electric has done this.

    That’s why the whole we need to stop drilling for oil drive was rubbish. It will all happen on its own – and is.

    • That’s why the whole we need to stop drilling for oil drive was rubbish.

      No, you believing that is the rubbish.

      It will all happen on its own – and is.

      Not really. Without the populace pushing things don’t change.

      National are still pushing for more oil drilling in our oceans after all.

  5. mikesh 5

    Recently both Britain and France have said they will ban the production of ICE cars by 2040. That may have had something to do with this decision.


    This is a very significant move here!!!!


    “Greenpeace is calling the New Zealand Superannuation Fund’s just-announced $950 million divestment from big polluters an “aha” moment for the country’s economy.”

    My comments to this plan;


    INSTEAD; use rail as rail has steel wheels and low carbon footprint

    We need also to stop propping up inefficient road freight industry with dirty diesel engine trucks and also those with 32 tyres (OIL BASED PRODUCT) as tyres emit serious toxic hydrocarbon components & dust also.


    This tyre dust is now found on arctic ice cps and the black dust collects heat from the sun & is found to be increasing the melting of our ice shelf.

    “(wind-driven erosion and soil particle suspension
    during harvesting and tilling) [Ginoux et al., 2010; Ginoux
    et al., 2012b]. In the populated regions, anthropogenic
    activities may cause significant local air pollution by traffic
    (exhaust, road dust, tire wear, and break abrasion)”

    Subject: Air pollution: Tyre and brake fatigue compound an exhausting problem
    8 SEPTEMBER 2016

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