TEU Fossil Fuels Divestment Policy

Posted By TEU on Aug 9, 2016 |

Climate change poses an unprecedented and unequivocal threat[1] to our future. If we are is to avoid catastrophic climate change, most known fossil fuel resources need to stay in the ground. However, fossil fuel companies not only plan to extract and sell their existing reserves but are exploring ever more sensitive territory to find new ones, thus ruining our chance of minimising and mitigating climate change.

350 Aotearoa notes that the international community must keep warming below 2°C to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”[2]. We can only afford to produce 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide if we wish to avoid exceeding the 2°C limit.  Yet current global proven reserves of fossil fuels amount to 2,795 gigatons. This means we must keep four-fifths of the proven reserves in the ground.

With that in mind, TEU publicly commits to continue not to invest in any fossil fuel companies. We also commit to remain divested from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds.

TEU also calls on other organisations including New Zealand’s tertiary education institutions and the government to divest from companies that profit from fossil fuels.

TEU demands that companies that profit from fossil fuels:

  • Stop seeking new fossil reserves
  • Stop promoting climate change denial and lobbying against climate policy
  • Commit to keeping 80 percent of their proven reserves in the ground

Until those demands are answered we will continue to oppose investment in any companies that are driving the world towards catastrophic climate change.


  1. IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis - Summary for Policymakers. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/index.shtml
  2. The Copenhagen Accord (Report of the Conference of the Parties on its fifteenth session, held in Copenhagen from 7 to 19 December 2009) http://unfccc.int/documentation/documents/advanced_search/items/6911.php?priref=600005735#beg
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