Sydney, January 27th: Marrickville Councillors have voted for the council to offload its investments in fossil fuels, joining the international ‘divestment’ movement. As a first step, the council will be ensuring over $15 million dollars are no longer invested in fossil fuels, with an aim to increase this amount.
“Marrickville Council has a strong commitment to combating climate change, with programs aimed at cutting emissions. By adopting this motion we will prefer financial institutions that avoid funding fossil fuels, such as coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef, or coal seam gas projects in Camden,” says Councillor Max Phillips, who moved the fossil free motion.
Marrickville is the first council in New South Wales to go fossil free, but joins institutions around Australia divesting from the fossil fuel industry. Just some of these institutions include the Australian National University, UniSuper, and Moreland Council in Victoria.
The vote of nine councillors for, with only two councillors against, demonstrates the widespread support for public money being invested ethically and being protected from the risks of losses as the fossil fuel industry becomes less economic.
Phillips said, “I’m please that Marrickville Council will be joining other organisations and institutions from around Australia and the world in divesting from fossil fuels. The divestment movement supported by 350.org and Market Forces is growing extremely quickly and has the big polluters worried.”
As part of the motion, the council will be avoiding the use of the big four banks – Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth, and NAB – all of which finance fossil fuel projects. The council money will be reinvested in fossil free institutions in comparable risk and reward categories.
Marrickville resident Glyn Mather welcomes the move. “Flooding is already a problem along the Cooks River, it costs the Council thousands to clean up. And it’s a problem that will only get worse with climate change. It is high time people stopped investing in the fossil fuel industry.”
Mather continued, “I think it is great that my Council is taking action on climate change on all fronts possible. I hope other Councils will follow their lead.”
The announcement comes in the lead up to the Global Day of Divestment, an international day of divestment action organised by climate action organisation 350.org.
Isaac Astill, Sydney Coordinator
0428 849 332
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