PERTH, Wednesday September 14, 2016: The City of Swan, comprising Swan Valley just outside of Perth, has became the second local council this fortnight to unanimously vote to shift its investments away from coal, oil and gas, following similar moves from the City of Vincent.
This move will see the City of Vincent divest just under $20 million in investments, and the City of Swan move their $122 million in investments away from fossil fuels. This means that eight councils in Western Australia, and 27 councils nationally, have divested from fossil fuels.
“We have a responsibility to our ratepayers and our environment and this needed to be reflected in our investment portfolio policy,” said Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright.
City of Swan’s policy states, “the City will ensure its financial investments consider the reduction of fossil fuels, by investing with non-fossil fuel lending banks.”
Councillor Jimmy Murphy of the City of Vincent said the decision to divest was the logical next step in the council taking real action on climate change.
“It feels great to just get on with it and make meaningful changes, with $450k already moved from the fossil fuel industry into more environmentally friendly hands, this policy change is already paying dividends for both the planet and ratepayers,” Cr Murphy said.
350.org has run a national campaign supporting councils to shift their money away from the coal, oil, and gas companies driving the dangerous climate change.
“The moral case against fossil fuels is getting stronger and stronger,” said 350.org Perth coordinator, Michael Fabiankovits. “I’m pleased and proud to see these two West Australian councils commit to turn their back on this destructive industry. The councillors have shown true leadership on climate change with this decision.
“Local government and other organisations are increasingly recognising that fossil fuels are a risky investment. The price of coal has plummeted and key importers of Australian coal, such as China and India are increasingly turning to renewables for their energy needs.
“Pressure is now building on the City of Perth to step up and divest their money from fossil fuels. We will be working hard with residents and councillors to make this happen.”
In committing to divest, these councils join over 550 institutions worldwide, representing AUD$6.1 trillion. They include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Universities of Monash, Oxford and Stanford.
Michael Fabiankovits in Perth 0414 802 998