From the Newsroom

CVC tips $10m into ‘fossil-free’ investments

Geoff Helisma

 

Since Clarence Valley Council’s (CVC) unanimous decision at the February 2022 meeting – to give “preference … to financial institutions that publicly state that they do not invest in nor finance the fossil fuel industry” – it has invested $10million (6.2 percent of CVC’s total investments of $160,332,652) with those types of institutions.

The change in policy was initiated by Greens-aligned councillor, Greg Clancy, who, having failed to gain the support of the former council on several occasions, gained some traction at the April 2021 meeting when a foreshadowed motion put by Cr Karen Toms – “to review CVC’s investment policy … and include options … for investing in non-fossil fuel [supporting] institutions” – was supported by all councillors, apart from former councillor, Arthur Lysaught.

However, come August 2021 a CVC meeting procedural error meant it wasn’t reconsidered until the February 2022 CVC meeting.

The report to yesterday’s July 26 CVC meeting stated: “In the month of June, the following term deposits were invested in MyState which is a non-fossil fuel industry affiliated ADI: $3.0m TD invested 14/6/2022 at 4.45% for 2 years – matures 14/6/2024.

“Subsequently, the total value of investments currently held with Financial Institutions that do not invest nor finance the fossil fuel industry now totals $10.0M.”

Other investments currently held with financial institutions that do not invest nor finance the fossil fuel industry include $2.0m invested in March with MyState Bank (BBB rated) in a 2-year term deposit at 1.70% p.a.

Staff wrote in the April report to council, “This investment was comparable to P&N Bank (also a BBB rated institution) which was also offering 1.70% for 2 years.

“This rate was higher in comparison to some of the major AA rated institutions that were offering 1.50% for the same term.”

Deputy mayor Greg Clancy said he was “chuffed”, regarding CVC’s investment in institutions that do not invest in nor finance the fossil fuel industry.

“I think it’s a really good start,” he said.

The monthly investment reports to council outline the rationale, “Climate change impacts of the current investment portfolio are now being considered as each investment matures.

“In line with section 5.11 of the current investment policy, preference is given to financial institutions that publicly state that they do not invest in nor finance the fossil fuel industry.

“It should be noted that investments under this section of the policy will only be made providing that the rate of return is equivalent or more favourable and that the investment does not increase the overall risk of CCV’s investment portfolio.”

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