Council urged to drop coal

A DOZEN activists from environmental group 350 Perth unexpectedly showed up to Vincent’s elected member briefing session this week, imploring councillors to pull council investments out of coal-supporting portfolios.

Named for the target of CO2 in the atmosphere of 350ppm needed to preserve the biosphere, group spokesperson Rachel Bott said certain banks were contributing to fossil fuel industries.

“I would prefer my rates are preferenced toward banks that do not invest in fossil fuels,” she said.

“Australia’s four big banks are continuing to invest in fossil fuels despite embracing a two-degree target for global warming: Commonwealth, Westpac, ANZ and NAB.”

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She said it’s smart for the planet and for the bottom line to invest in cleaner operators, keeping in mind the city’s own policies to handle ratepayer money wisely.

“Intense exposure to fossil fuels is a worry for both climate change and the risk of stranded assets… ANZ is absorbing a bigger-than-expected loss as a result of lending to the mining industry.”

She quoted 350 founder Bill McKibben who said, “if it’s wrong to wreck the planet, then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage”.

Vincent CEO Len Kosova says “it is something the administration is prepared to look into a little further. We’re aware of some other local governments who are currently reviewing that revised policy approach to managing their investments.

“Some of the conditions and criteria mentioned by Rachel earlier are probably worth taking into account in assessing the community is no worse off as a result of that investment strategy.”

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7 responses to “Council urged to drop coal

  1. I am a resident of the city of Vincent and was present at the briefing session on Tuesday night. I was very encouraged by the positive response from the ceo to the question from Rachel. I am committed to divestiing ny finances from banks that support the fossil fuel industry. I look forward to living in a city that can make divestment part of it’s investment strategy. It would be great to see residents who support this matter at the next council meeting,Tuesday 5th at 6pm.

  2. As a resident of Vincent and one of the 350 group at the briefing session, I commend the immediacy of the response of the administration and councillors in now looking further into the extent and desirability of our funds being invested in the fossil fuel industry. Time for leadership!

  3. This is something the City of Subiaco should be looking at. They are big on environmental initiatives yet have not embraced the divestment approach yet. I don’t understand why this is not front and centre of their thinking.

  4. Congratulations to the City of Vincent for investigating this important change. A fossil fuel future is simply impossible if we are to have a habitable planet. I certainly hope that my council, East Fremantle, will make this move, too.

  5. Thanks for the coverage Perth Voice! Any Vincent residents that support this idea should come and show your support at this Tuesday’s council meeting – 5th April at 6pm.

  6. This is such an important issue. We really can tackle climate change if many approaches are taken and this is one of them. I applaud the City of Vincent for considering starting the process of divestment from fossil fuel exposure, and hope the vote goes the right way tomorrow.

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