December 19, 2017

Hobart City Council divests from fossil fuels

Hobart December 19, 2017:  Hobart City Council’s decision last night to fully divest from financial institutions that fund the fossil fuel industry is being celebrated as a win for the climate and the people of Hobart.

350 Australia congratulates Hobart City Council on its decision to fully divest, said Deputy CEO Glen Klatovsky.

“Over the last few years we have seen the massive global divestment movement grow exponentially. As of a week ago this was worth about $US5.7 trillion globally. But over the last week thanks to a global conference in Paris called “One Planet” we saw trillions more taken from fossil fuel investment,” said Mr Klatovsky.  

“Last week in Australia the NAB became the first Australian bank to ban any further financing of coal projects. AGL declared its commitment to never invest in coal again. Origin promised to halve their emissions by 2032. And today Hobart joined this incredible national and global movement. The momentum against fossil fuels is growing fast.”

Ben Ross, of 350 Hobart, said: “When we were campaigning for this change we talked to over a thousand people in Hobart. Climate change is a big issue for people here. We have a beautiful natural environment and people want to protect it for future generations.”

In 2014 in response to a community petition calling for divestment, the Council amended its investment policy to include partial divestment principles, and now, after receiving a huge petition from 350 Hobart calling for complete divestment, and external advice from Macquarie Wealth Management, the Council has developed and accepted this full divestment policy.

“Changing its investment policy is one of many initiatives the council is undertaking to address climate change, so 350 Hobart says ‘Well done, and thank you Hobart Council’. This new policy raises the bar for other local governments who go part way toward divestment. It’s financially responsible, and reflects the concerns Hobart people have about the effects of climate change not just on the environment, but include impacts on health, security, and the economy.

Find specifics about the Hobart Council policy, accepted last night in a full council vote, in the minutes of the Finance Committee report of 12 December 2017 here under item 6 – Investment and Borrowing Policies.

For more information on the campaign to divest from fossil fuels, visit Fossil Free Australia’s page