Brown Coal Open Cut

In a small but significant manner, the City of Melbourne, in its City of Melbourne Clean Energy Proposal, has formally affirmed, in a unanimous vote of all eleven councillors;

to not directly investing in any fossil fuel or fossil fuel aligned companies into the future.

As I have said many times, #strandedassets is and will increasingly become, the primary policy issue confronting advanced/modern economies. Harmonizing investment pipelines with infrastructure and demographic planning requires considerable focus and management expertise that relies on bi-partisan long-term commitments. Yes, I know.

A considerable challenge.

COP21 will be a telling milestone in assessing the “readiness for transition…”

Energy, Employment,Education, Environment, engagement in civil-society, Security: the policy trajectories of all these domains require intelligent, rational and collaborative approaches based on the fundamental policy driver: Climate.

Melbourne City’s proposal contains these five components:

  1. Reaffirms its commitment to clean energy through its investments.
  2. Notes that the City of Melbourne has no direct investment (shareholdings) in any fossil fuel companies or fossil fuel aligned companies.
  3. Commits to not directly investing in any fossil fuel or fossil fuel aligned companies into the future. This commitment will be reflected in the City of Melbourne’s Investment Policy when it is next reviewed.
  4. Requests management write to the Trustees of Council’s default superannuation fund Vision Super and request a Fossil Free Investment option be available to members.
  5. Resolves that when the transactional banking services are next tendered, respondents will be requested to complete a questionnaire on their exposure and support to the fossil fuel sector. These responses are to be taken into consideration when deciding to award the transactional banking services contract.

Of further interest is the Council’s wish to both introduce a fossil-fuel-free superannuation option for staff by influencing major Superannuation fund managers and seeking to audit and screen all future Banking transactions for exposure to “fossil-fuel-aligned companies”.

This also comes directly on the heels of the National Tertiary Education Union becoming the first Union in Australia to divest of fossil fuels.  Well done to the @NTEUNational .

The growing momentum in the divestment of fossil fuels is significant.  Some suggest investments to the value of $2.6 Trillion has been re-allocated to date.

We certainly know the benefits to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund [YES, that Rockefeller] when they divested their $850 Million fund just on twelve months ago.

The challenge for political leaders and community alike is to de-couple from what Barry Jones once called the “rise of managerialism” and begin to think and plan… “in decades, not twitter moments”.

Jones opined as recently as 2012 that:

We must all search for the ”shock of recognition” which enables us to find ourselves, expanding our understanding both of the universe and of each other

If the existential threat of anthropogenic climate change is not sufficient to provide for the “shock of recognition” to both the Apollonian and Dionysian amongst amongst those that profess to “serve the public”, then I am not sure what can.

The “public good”, collides with “private benefit” .



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