Sydney’s Inner West Council has transferred all its investments into non-fossil fuel funds, becoming the first NSW council to 100 per cent divest.
Council committed to becoming fully invested in non-fossil fuel funds at its first meeting following the 2017 election. The achievement of 100 per cent divestment from fossil fuels is well ahead of schedule.
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that Council was determined to take a national leadership role in sustainability.
“Being the first Council to become 100 divested from fossil fuels is a significant step forward in achieving Council’s renewable energy goals.
“Transferring all of our investments into non-fossil fuel funds is a moral act but also a financially prudent one. We join a long list of organisations around the world that are making this environmental statement."
The Council has called for the banks and the NSW government to develop financial products that will allow more organisations to follow their lead.
Inner West Councillor Anna York said that taking a leading role in renewable energy initiatives and carbon reduction reflected the values of the inner west community.
“In the absence of leadership at a State or Federal level, we’re proud that the inner west council is taking a strong stance,” she said.
The decision to divest from fossil fuels has made a significant global impact; with New York City divesting its $189 billion in pension funds in 2018. Ireland became the first nation to divest its public funds from fossil fuel companies invested in oil, gas and coal while Oslo became the first capital city to divest from fossil fuels in 2015.
More than 1000 institutions, worth approximately $8.7 trillion USD, have committed to becoming fossil free including the Roddick Foundation, California Institute of the Arts, The Wilderness Foundation, the University of St Andrews, David Suzuki Foundation,
National Peace Corps Association, Yale University and the World Council of Churches.
Inner West Council is undertaking a number of initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, including:
Signing a power agreement to supply around 25 percent of our power needs from Moree Solar Farm
Offering residents free solar advice workshops as well as online solar mapping for residents and businesses
Changing street lighting in the LGA to energy efficient LED lighting while programs are in place to cut Council’s carbon footprint by a third.