Protest against bank’s fossil fuel investment

Claudia Palmer (20) cuts her ANZ eftpos card in half to protest against the bank’s investments in...
Claudia Palmer (20) cuts her ANZ eftpos card in half to protest against the bank’s investments in coal, oil and gas projects. Photo: Peter McIntosh.
Protestors cut up eftpos cards and held a banner outside ANZ’s Moray Pl, Dunedin  branch yesterday to counter fossil fuel investment.

About 20 protesters, many wearing  T-shirts of the 350 Dunedin climate change group, stood outside the bank, but the public were not blocked from entering the building.

The peaceful protest was in contrast to a demonstration held outside the ANZ branch on George St in May during which an elderly woman had to be helped into the bank by police because protesters were blocking the bank’s entrance.

350 Dunedin spokesperson Charlie Montague said the group was among hundreds of people around New Zealand this week to lobby ANZ and Westpac branches to divest  fossil fuel investments.

"ANZ and Westpac customers are smart enough to know there is a difference between a bank saying it will take action on climate change and a bank that follows through and stops investments in new fossil fuel projects."

Former ANZ bank customer Claudia Palmer  cut her eftpos card in half during the protest.

Miss Palmer said she did not want to put the money she was saving for her future into a bank that was not supporting sustainable choices.

A spokesman for ANZ said the bank had "very little" lending in the fossil fuels sector.

"In fact, less than 0.05% of our total lending in New Zealand is to fossil fuels and most of that is in gas."

In 2015, ANZ made a pledge to lend $10billion by 2020 for low carbon activity.

The bank was a "target" for such issues because it might make headlines, the spokesman said.

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