Press Release – 350 Aotearoa
ANZ Filled with Carbon Bubbles
Today an ANZ branch on Queen Street was filled with ‘carbon bubbles’. Members from 350 Aotearoa released dozens of helium balloons onto the high ceiling of the branch to send a strong message to ANZ bank about their funding of the Advantage New Zealand Petroleum Summit. The balloons symbolised carbon bubbles*, and held signs saying, “DIVEST!” 350 Aotearoa then presented staff with a letter requesting that ANZ pull their funding from the Petroleum Summit, and divest from fossil fuels. Their banners outside the building read, “ANZ, don’t fund the petroleum summit”.
“We took action on ANZ today to tell them to put their money where their mouth is. ANZ have said that climate change poses a significant risk to their customers, yet their actions don’t reflect this,” said Niamh O’Flynn, National Coordinator for 350 Aotearoa.
At a time when scientists agree that we must leave 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change, 350 Aotearoa believes that it is ethically and financially irresponsible for ANZ to sponsor the Petroleum Summit, an event promoting fossil fuel extraction.
“It’s time for ANZ to stop funding events like this, and to divest from fossil fuels altogether. We hope the balloons floating on their ceiling today help them get that message,” said O’Flynn.
350 Aotearoa recently launched its Fossil Free Banks campaign as part of the divestment movement. They are campaigning for banking options in New Zealand that are publicly committed to being fossil free – the banks have no investments in fossil fuels and do not lend to the fossil fuel industry.
The divestment movement has already spread to over 300 colleges and universities and 100 cities and states in New Zealand, the United States, Australia, and Canada. Many religious, educational, and financial institutions have already committed to dump their fossil fuel holdings.
70 global investors, managing over $3 trillion of assets, have demanded the oil, gas and coal companies asses the risks that climate change poses to their business plans.
350 Aotearoa is joining Greenpeace New Zealand, KASM, and Oil Free Auckland in organising a public march to oppose the Petroleum Summit on Sunday, 29th March.