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Council votes 5:4 for green investments

Eurobodalla Greens Councillor Pat McGinlay successfully moved an important motion in this year’s first sitting of the new Eurobodalla Shire Council. The motion, which was passed 5:4, sets the target of 2/3 investment of Council’s finances in institutions which avoid lending to the fossil fuel industry. The wording of the motion ensures that this will be a financially neutral transition for Council.

Clr McGinlay said: “The intent of this motion is to support environmental protection by taking action to combat climate change. Carbon emissions through the use of fossil fuels are, according to overwhelming scientific evidence, one of the key contributors to global warming and climate change.

Currently by chance alone, about one third of Council’s money is already invested in institutions which are not lending to fossil fuel projects. Eurobodalla’s strategy aims to increase this to two thirds, increasing the amount of investment by the Council in fossil fuel free investment vehicles to approximately $54 million.

We envisage that once the strategy is proven to be working smoothly, Council would vote for further incremental increases in divestment.”

At present, there are already nine other NSW Councils that have put in place divestment strategies similar to that adopted by Eurobodalla.

Altogether currently 31 councils across Australia, as well as the ACT Government, and 7 Universities have implemented divestment strategies.

Eurobodalla Greens Convenor, Will Douglas said: “Eurobodalla Shire Council is in good company and this is a prudent move. We have thrown our weight behind action to help transition Australia away from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable energy. We have also ensured that ratepayers’ consolidated holdings invested on their behalf by Council are not threatened by the possibility of falling asset prices in the fossil fuel industries. Fossil fuel industries are increasingly seen as ‘stranded’ assets, sidelined by falling economic efficiency compared with the arrival of cheaper renewable energy sources and by the loss of social licence to keep polluting the atmosphere and contributing to greenhouse gases”.

Importantly, the Councillor’s motion ensures that the Finance section of Council, which already provides monthly reports to Councillors and the Council Audit Committee on its investment performance, would need to comment on any trend that emerges with the implementation of the divestment strategy.

Clr McGinlay spoke highly of this promising start to the new year in Council, and praised his fellow councillors Mayne, Constable, Brown and Thompson for supporting the motion.

Media Release Will Douglas , Convenor of Eurobodalla Greens .

Above: at the 1:50 minute mark listen to the reaction of the announcement that the motion put forward by Councillor McGinlay had been passed

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