Dunedin City councilor Jinty MacTavish took to Facebook last night to express her relief that the Dunedin City Council, with the help of her vote, had chosen to ban any future investment in fossil fuels.
The measure also included a ban on investment in gambling, tobacco, munitions and pornography.
“Thanks to all who submitted with your thoughts. Hopefully it will be an ongoing process of evaluation as our thoughts on what it is right to profit from, evolve as a community. But for now….sigh of relief.” MacTavish told her faithful.
Proponents of the divestment argued continued investment in such areas would be inconsistent with the United Nation’s policy of health and safety and cause long term or permanent damage to the environment.
Dave Cull, who supported the measure, was first elected to the office of Mayor on a pro-hertiage and a pro-environment ticket, and was returned to office in 2013.
In support were Mayor Cull, Cr Benson-Pope, Cr Hawkins, Cr MacTavish, Cr Peat, Cr Staynes, Cr Thomson, and Cr Wilson.
In opposition were former ACT MP Hilary Calvert, Cr Bezett, Cr Hall, Cr Lord, Cr Noone, Cr Vandervis, Cr Whiley.
Progas Otago, an organisation advocating for investment in oil gas said in a statement “Unfortunately, this is what happens when the mouthy minority shout louder than the silent majority.”
On the other hand, environmentalist group 350 Aotearoa noted it as a remarkable achievement; “If it’s wrong to wreck the planet, then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage”.