The Superannuation Fund and the ACC Fund should join the 500 institutions, worth $3.4 trillion USD (approximately $5.09 trillion NZD), who have pledged to divest from fossil fuels as part of the Divest for Paris campaign, the Green Party said.
“Investing public money in looking for more fossil fuels doesn't make financial sense because it’s a dying industry, and doesn't make environmental sense because such investments are fuelling global warming,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.
“Divestment is a huge topic of conversation at the COP21 climate talks in Paris and it’s clear that finance has a huge role to play in solving the climate change problem.
“The Super Fund has already signalled a promising increase in clean energy investments to $540 million, so it’s time for them to divest from fossil fuels too, and for the ACC Fund to follow suit.
"The reality is that there’s absolutely no point investing in looking for more fossil fuels like coal and oil because if we’re going to keep global warming to two degrees or less, we can’t even burn all the fossil fuels that have already been found.
“The smart money is being pulled out of oil and coal and going into renewable energy and clean technology investments, because it’s not only ethical but also smart economics.
“We simply shouldn’t be betting our financial future on outdated fossil fuels,” Mr Shaw said.
Earlier in 2015, the National Government voted down the Green Party’s Climate Change (Divestment from Fossil Fuels) Bill, which would have instructed all public funds to divest from fossil fuels within five years.
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is worth $29.8 billion and the ACC Fund is worth approximately $27 billion. They had around $140 million each invested coal, the dirtiest and most outdated fossil fuel, as at May 2015.