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Super Fund divestment shifts the ground overnight on carbon risks

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.