The problem with ‘ethical investing’

Yet again the Green party is lecturing us on ‘ethical investing’.

Can anyone see a problem with that?

The Green Party has called for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to quit its investments in companies producing fossil fuel.

The fund’s chief executive, Adrian Orr, said it took the issue of climate change seriously and expected its exposure to fossil fuels to fall over time, and investment in renewables to rise.

“But a simple divestment call? The world is just not that straightforward,” he said.

The fund, set up by the previous Labour Government to partially pre-fund future New Zealand Superannuation payments, had $676 million invested in companies directly involved in fossil fuel production as of last June. That represented about 2 per cent of the fund’s assets.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman, in a paper released yesterday, makes an ethical case for not investing in companies whose activities are literally fuelling potentially catastrophic climate change.

He also points to a financial risk of stranded assets, citing analysis by the International Energy Agency and other bodies that the world’s coal, oil and gas companies already have in their proven reserves at least three times as much carbon as can be burned without exceeding the internationally agreed target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. ?

Norman argues it is irresponsible for a long-term investor such as the fund to assume, in effect, that Governments will never get their act together and act to avert a climate catastrophe.

If there are practical difficulties with immediate divestment, it could start with coal companies, followed by those involved in fracking and tar sands, and then conventional oil and gas producers.

Divestment by the Super Fund would set a precedent for all other government-managed funds to divest, including ACC which has investments of $26 billion, Norman said.

The problem with loons like the Greens lecturing and hectoring on what is ‘ethical’ is they by necessity are making a value judgment.

This is the problem with ‘ethical’ investment…whose ethics do we use?

The Greens and their crazy lunatic ideas? They barely represent 15% of the population…the government represents the majority…surely it is their ethics, after all they have the voters behind them.

But since they are concerned about ethics in investing might I make a suggestion for them.

Given they think gas, coal and oil are evil, carbon producers harbingers of doom and wind power has proven to be a dud investment the only real energy investment left is nuclear.

It meets their greenhouse emission requirements.

On top of that might I suggest they invest in Israeli nuclear power plants.Now don’t laugh, I’ll explain.

Israeli power plants are used to run desalination plants, which turn sea water into potable water, that potable water is then pumped into the Dan valley and the recycled using the same power and then turned again into potable water which is then pumped into the Negev desert, using the?recycled water to fertilise farms and reduce desertification, reducing demand on the dwindling Jordan river. You can’t get more ethical than that.

But wait you can.

Those same plants are also used to send free electricity into the Palestinian territories…meeting a further humanitarian ethical barrier.

The Greens should immediately start lobbying for the Super Fund to invest in ‘ethical’ Israeli power and energy solutions on green prinicples and on humanitarian principles.

Will they?

Or are their words just weasel words.


– NZ Herald