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.”
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.”