For Immediate Release
25 August 2017
Council Divestment Move Celebrated at Climate Film Screening
Last night, Coffs Harbour City Council passed a motion to divest all its funds from banks which finance the fossil fuel industry, including controversial coal, oil and gas projects. The Council joins a list of 32 other local governments who have already passed similar motions, representing a combined total of over $7 billion. This growing divestment movement is fuelled by concerns about climate change, as well as the risk of exposure to declining industries.
Coffs Coast Climate Action Group’s Sarah Wood said, "This is a win-win decision for our community and the Coffs Coast Climate Action Group is thrilled with the outcome".
Mrs Wood spoke at last night’s regional premiere of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Sequel”, and was delighted to be able to announce the outcome just minutes after the motion passed. Film-goers received the breaking news with much cheering and applause. Mrs Wood, herself a graduate of Gore’s Climate Reality training programme, said that the Council’s move demonstrated that active community groups can make a positive difference on climate change.
"The Coffs Coast Climate Action Group has been working on this issue for 12 months, since the Candidates Forum for the Coffs Harbour City Council elections, where Council's investment in financial institutions that invest in and finance fossil fuels was a major concern for the public. We received over 400 signatures of support from the public and over 100 people attended the Forum last year."
Mrs Wood also emphasised that the move to divest was a sensible one from an economic and legal perspective: "This was a prudent decision made by the Coffs Harbour City Council where they have ensured that in moving funds away from financial institutions that continue to support and fund the fossil fuel industry they have done so where there is no risk to public funds, and in fact a financial benefit, whilst tackling the important issue of Climate Risk."
"Coffs Coast Climate Action Group would like to thank all Councillors for their support, in particular Councillors Tegan Swan and Sally Townley for their leadership on this issue".
For information on which banks are exposed to fossil fuels, see https://www.marketforces.org.au/info/compare-bank-table/
For media interviews: Sarah Wood 0431 299 707
Photos above and below from the opening night screening of An Inconvenient Sequel at Sawtell Majestic Cinema. Photo credit: Rob Cleary, Seen Australia