The New Zealand Superannuation Fund’s commitment to invest NZ$540 million in clean energy is its clearest signal yet that they are taking climate change seriously, the Green Party said today.
The release of the Fund’s annual report today details how the Fund’s $540 million commitment to invest in clean energy as part of a wider priority this year to explore opportunities to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure and complete their Climate Change and Investment Strategy project.
“The Super Fund is putting its money where its mouth is and committing to invest up to $540 million in the clean energy solutions to climate change,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“Why are National still dragging their feet on clean energy when the best fund managers in the world are committing hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in the best solutions to climate change?
“The Government can take the lead by establishing a Green Investment Bank that would accelerate the level of investment here into the clean economy.”
The Green Investment Bank will be a government-owned, for-profit bank. It will offer specialist expertise in cleantech finance, partnering with the private sector to fund new projects ranging from wind and solar power to biofuel production, energy efficiency retrofits, and waste recycling. The Bank can be established with the $120 million saved from the re-tendering of the Government’s banking contract announced earlier this week.
“We also see promising signs that the Super Fund is coming into line with leading funds abroad and considering divestment from companies directly responsible for climate change,” Mr Shaw said.
Super Fund CEO, Adrian Orr, told Business Desk reporter Fiona Rotherham today that, “We don’t want to be caught with stranded assets such as fossil fuels which may become economically unviable and we want to have an edge on new sustainable energy by working with a number of different folk.”
“The Green Party has a bill before Parliament that would direct government funds like the Superannuation Fund to divest from companies directly involved in the mining and production of fossil fuels within five years,” said Mr Shaw.
“It’s possible that the Fund will get there before the Government, who are still not taking the threats and opportunities of the climate challenge seriously.”