Super Fund divests where Government won’t

The Green Party welcomes the New Zealand Superannuation Fund’s new climate change investment strategy, which highlights how some of the world’s smartest investors are moving out of fossil fuels, even while the National Government continues to back them.

The Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation announced a new approach to investing its $31.4 billion of assets — one that will take into account the significant risks and opportunities climate change has for long-term returns.

“The Super Fund has accepted the fact that climate change is making its investments in climate-polluting companies increasingly risky,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“The Super Fund has taken this action despite the complete lack of leadership or guidance provided by the Government on climate-smart investment.

“The Super Fund recognises that investments in new coal or gas-fired power stations could soon become stranded, rapidly losing their value, so why hasn’t our Government?

“Since signing the Paris climate agreement in December, National has opened up half-a-million square kilometers of our oceans for oil and gas prospecting.

“Meanwhile, the ACC Investment Fund has taken no action on climate change.

“In response to Parliamentary Questions, the Green Party can reveal that the larger $34.8 billion ACC Investment Fund has commissioned no work to respond to the investment risks and opportunities created by climate change.

“ACC’s lack of a climate investment strategy for the multi billion-dollar assets under its care shows how inconsistent this Government’s approach is to managing climate change risks.

“The Green Party in Government would help lead the shift to a clean, resilient economy by putting a meaningful price on carbon pollution.

“We’d like to see all government funds divest from companies directly involved in the mining and production of fossil fuels, starting with coal.

“It’s hard for investment managers to show strong leadership, however, when our Government is sending mixed signals and failing to take the threats and opportunities of the climate challenge seriously,” said Mr Shaw.

Parliamentary written question 12348 (2016):
What are the names and dates of the reports, if any, that the ACC Investment Fund has commissioned on the possible impacts of climate change on its investments?
ACC Minister, Hon Nikki Kaye: ACC has not commissioned reports on the impact of climate change on investments as information is readily available on this issue in the market.

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