Unethical Consumers

Unethical Consumers

Posted by Straterra Admin on 12 February 2021

John Berry's opinion piece on ethical investing (Fossil fuels, palm oil and animal testing in your KiwiSaver?, Feb 8) claims that fossil fuel companies are embroiled in serious environmental violations and that investing in them is not good in terms of climate change. The reality is different and more complex.

What about the users of fossil fuels, ie all New Zealanders, who are contributing to our emissions? Every tonne of coal, or litre of fuel, sold has a buyer before it's extracted, yet it is the coal miners who are targeted by activists, banks and investment funds.

Ironically, we import up to a million tonnes of coal a year while domestic production declines. My point is that Kiwis happily continue consuming fossil fuels and the benefits of fossil fuels, while satisfying their consciences by thinking that steps taken to castigate New Zealand coal miners will reduce our and global emissions.

It is a lose-lose result if our actions lead to increased global emissions, and that is the likely outcome of John Berry's argument. How can job losses in New Zealand, plus increased global emissions, meet reasonable criteria for ''ethical investing''?

Chris Baker, CEO, Straterra