KiwiSaver ban will cost New Zealanders and do nothing for climate change

A ban on KiwiSaver investment into fossil fuel companies will make New Zealanders poorer in retirement and do nothing for climate change, says the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ).

“This approach will mean lower returns and less money in the backpocket for up to 700,000 New Zealanders in retirement,” says PEPANZ Chief Executive John Carnegie.

“There are already numerous funds that don’t invest in fossil fuels, and switching to these is a decision that people can and should make themselves without politicians imposing their own preferences. This is especially the case for something as important as retirement savings.

“In our view, investing in these companies is something to be proud of, given that energy makes our lives better and is lifting millions of people out of poverty around the world. Natural gas and oil provide over half of New Zealand’s energy with no realistic alternatives yet to replace all of this.

“Does this mean we will also ban investment into cars, buildings, electricity, airlines, plastics, and food production, given they are all major users of fossil fuels?

“We support the transition to a lower emissions world but this is not the way to do it. Even the Government’s own Interim Climate Change Committee advisors last year strongly highlighted the role of natural gas as a transition fuel supporting renewable electricity.

“It will do absolutely nothing for climate change or lowering emissions, given these shares will just end up belonging to someone else. These shares are largely for ownership, and do not necessarily grow these companies or increase their activities.

“If the goal is to lower emissions then we should focus on policies that could actually lower emissions, like the Emissions Trading Scheme.”