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Norway moves first to dump coal investments

"Our Government can no longer, in good conscience, invest in coal companies that are amongst the biggest individual contributors to climate change."

The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.

The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell its stakes in companies that generate more than 30 percent of their output or revenues from coal-related activities.

"Coal has no future in our economy if we want a future free of runaway climate change," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

"The full Norwegian Parliament will instruct one of the world's largest investors to dump coal, giving a very clear signal on the need to reduce climate risk.

"Our Government can no longer, in good conscience, invest in coal companies that are amongst the biggest individual contributors to climate change.

"Government-run funds like the $27 billion ACC Fund has $138 million invested in the world's dirtiest coal companies, while the $29 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund currently has $140 million in coal investments.

"The investment managers of the ACC and Superannuation Funds are hedging that the world will take no action on the climate — but the world is and these investments face a very real risk of becoming stranded and worthless.

"Getting out of fossil fuels is not only the right thing to do, it will make financial sense too."

The world's largest pension fund began divesting from coal companies earlier this year citing 'elevated levels of risk to our investments in the long term'. Norway's pension fund joins a rapidly growing list of funds, banks, cities, universities, and churches that have divested from coal for ethical and financial reasons since 2011.

"The Green Party has repeatedly called on the Guardians of the Superannuation Fund to begin divesting from the dirtiest, most unsustainable coal companies," said Dr Norman.

"Money released from divestment can be reinvested in the rapidly growing renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors, helping to hasten the transition of our economy to a safe, low-carbon future.

"This century will be the century of sustainability. The countries and the businesses that lead that shift to sustainability will prosper the greatest," said Dr Norman.

"Making money from a climate catastrophe: The case for divesting from fossil fuels":
www.greens.org.nz/divestnow

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