Finance Committee April Decision Digests: Divestment from Fossil Fuels

Investment portfolio to be reviewed

 

From Auckland Council:

Decision digest | Finance and Performance Committee

11 April 2017

 

Finance and Performance agrees to refine council investment policy and review portfolio

Auckland Council’s Finance and Performance Committee today agreed to change its responsible investment policy and exclude investment in a number of activities and industries.

Most notably, the committee agreed that the policy should now exclude and divest any investments that are not consistent with the revised policy, which are currently held in the following areas:

  • The manufacturing or development of controversial weapons
  • The manufacturing of tobacco
  • The production of fossil fuels
  • Generating revenue from the operation of gambling

In addition, the council will also now ask investment managers to monitor and screen council exposure to companies that sell high-sugar low-nutrient products in alignment with the broader initiatives with the Auckland Plan.

The council will also undertake a further review of the Diversified Financial Asset Portfolio as a whole, with a view to report back to the committee by June.

Committee chair, Cllr Ross Clow, welcomed the decision.

“This is an issue that many people, including those round the council table, feel very strongly about,” he says.

“It has been clear for some time that our policy should meet certain ethical standards and changing the policy to exclude investments in some areas is a good outcome for all.

“The next step is also important. Given that we have already been increasing the divestment of the portfolio over the past two years, and that there will only be around $130million left, it is right to review the value of the portfolio, and decide if the money could be better used to invest in infrastructure across the city.”

Items 1-3 were administrative items, and there was no extraordinary business (Item 7) or notices of motion (Item 8).

 

Item 4 and 5 Petitions and Public input

There was one petition, from 350 Aotearoa and public input from:

  • Dr Richard Milne, Anglican Climate Action Group,
  • Gareth Hughes MP
  • Dr Robert Howell

all relating to item 10, Responsible Investment Policy.

 

Item 6: Local board input

There were two presentations from local boards, both relating to items contained in item 9, disposals recommendation report.

  • Lotu Fuli from the Ōtara-Papatoetoe local board presented to the committee relating to 6 Butler Avenue, Papatoetoe .
  • Julia Parfitt, Janet Fitzgerald and Christina Bettany from the Hibiscus and Bays Local board presented on 19 Anzac road, Browns Bay.

 

Item 9: Disposals recommendation report 

The committee agreed to the disposal of all properties as outlined in the agenda with the exception of:

  • 19 Anzac Road, the disposal of which be deferred until a parking survey has been completed by Auckland Transport by June 2017.

 

Item 10: Responsible investment policy and Diversified Financial Asset Portfolio review 

The committee approved the changes as noted.

 

Item 11: Finance and Performance Committee – Information Report – 11 April 2017 

The committee received the information report – 21 February 2017.

 

The agenda is available on Auckland Council’s website and minutes will be added once confirmed. This meeting was also webcast on the council’s website and items are available on demand.

 

ENDS

 

 

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