Councillors will vote on the Approved Borrowers clause at Tuesday’s meeting. The clause aims to decrease the impact of climate change and give preference to financial institutions that do not invest in or finance the fossil fuel industry.
Michael Fabiankovits, the Perth co-ordinator of climate action group 350, spoke in support of the clause at last Tuesday’s community and resources meeting.
The Dianella resident, said the City should be “commended” for having 70 per cent of funds in fossil fuel-free banks for the past 10 years and urged councillors to support the policy.
“In supporting this agenda item you will be showing leadership in this crucial issue and joining 20 other councils around Australia that have already done so, including the City of Melbourne and the City of Newcastle,” Mr Fabiankovits said.
“This item puts in policy your commitment to the health and safety of current and future ratepayers and residents and completes the message of divestment.
“It does all of this at virtually no cost or risk to ratepayer funds, as security and return are still the first considerations under this policy.”
Councillor David Michael suggested animal welfare be included in the list of socially responsible investments.
“High intensity farming wouldn’t be something I’d like to see us invest in,” he said.
Cr David Lagan spoke in support of favouring West Australian companies and investing in renewable energy technologies.
Stirling corporate services director Ed Herne said the City would work to prioritise investments in WA-based companies and renewable technologies.
“Obviously we consider what will give the maximum returns but given the request we are always happy to invest in new technologies,” he said.
Mr Fabiankovits said the move would “raise awareness” of the damage caused by fossil fuels and would encourage others to follow the example.
n Opinion, page 8