More burning ethical questions for Steven Joyce

Finance Minister Steven Joyce is failing to show any moral or political leadership by continuing to allow Government-owned funds to invest New Zealanders’ money in some of the world’s most polluting companies, the Green Party said today.

Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted.

“The National Government signed the Paris Agreement last year to keep global warming under two degrees. Finance Minister Steven Joyce needs to tell us how investing millions of dollars of our money in some of the world’s most polluting companies helps to deliver on our Paris commitment,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“In Government, the Green Party would establish clear expectations that Government-owned investment funds should be consistent with the international treaties New Zealand has signed up to, such as the 2016 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“Funds like the $38 billion ACC Investment Fund, the $32 billion Superannuation Fund, and the $4 billion Government Superannuation Fund should not be investing in companies like Coal India – a company with coal reserves that, if burned, would create carbon pollution a thousand times greater than New Zealand's total annual emissions.

“Kiwis care about this stuff. We saw this last year when there was a public outcry after it was revealed that many New Zealanders’ Kiwisaver investments were going into companies that make nuclear weapons and cluster bombs. It was only after that public outcry that KiwiSaver fund managers divested.

“Finance Minister Steven Joyce needs to show some leadership on the climate.

“One of his key goals as Finance Minister should be to help create a clean economy – one that is prosperous but doesn’t undermine the climate and our children’s future,” said Mr Shaw.

 

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