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Is your bank investing in fossil fuels? Probably

You know how sometimes there’s something that never makes it off your to-do list? Changing banks is often one of those things - most of us bank where our parents banked and never change. Is there really much to choose between them? 

When it comes to banks, there are big differences in what they invest in, and for me this was the push needed to finally change banks - both personally and for Remix Plastic.

Only 3 banks in NZ currently do not invest in or loan to the fossil fuel industry: The Co-operative Bank, Kiwibank and TSB Bank. The others (ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Westpac) have collectively loaned over $20b to fossil fuel projects, enabling the release of over 7000 million tonnes of CO2 emissions between 2015-2017.

When you check their websites these banks have very impressive looking sustainability policies and are certified carbon neutral, and while we applaud all improvements in sustainability, simply purchasing carbon offsets to become ‘carbon neutral’ will not solve the climate crisis and does not give licence to continually pollute.  

Since 2010 ANZ reported that it offset approximately 2 million tonnes of CO2 - sounds good right? But between 2015 and 2017 ANZ’s investments in fossil fuels financed 2,838 million tonnes of CO2. Offsetting less than 0.1 percent of the emissions enabled by the bank’s activities is not being carbon neutral.

By continuously investing billions of dollars into new and existing fossil fuel projects, banks are telling us that the extraction and burning of fossil fuels is acceptable. And where does the billions of dollars come from? It comes from us, from our money...so if you want investment in green energy and the end of fossil fuels, switch your bank!

 

What can I do?

  • Switch banks - the only NZ banks that don’t invest in fossil fuels are The Co-operative Bank, Kiwibank and TSB Bank
  • Tell both banks why you are switching
  • Encourage The Co-operative Bank, Kiwibank and TSB Bank to formalise their position of not investing in fossil fuels
  • Ask your other providers who they bank with. E.g who does your electricity company bank with? Are they selling you renewable energy but then using a bank that invests in fossil fuels?
  • Switch your Kiwisaver out of fossil fuels - check where its invested at https://mindfulmoney.nz/
  • Find out more at https://350.org/

References

Bankrolling the Climate Crisis, 350.org, 2018

 

 


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