February 13/14 marks Global Divestment Day and the pressure on the energy industry to move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy solutions like solar power.
To avert the catastrophic effects of global warming we need to ensure that fossil fuels stay in the ground and that we divest from corporations who continue to support this industry.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels before the industrial revolution were about 280 parts per million. They have been rising ever since, and today there are about 397 parts per million, which means we are fast approaching the two-degree safety limit agreed internationally for limiting global warming.
According to the world's leading climate scientists, the 2 degrees safety limit could be breached within 30 years if the world goes on burning fossil fuels at the current rate.
Temperatures beyond 2 degrees will have catastrophic effects on the planet, with rising sea levels estimated between 5-7 metres, reduction of freshwater, the death of all coral and the extinction of countless flora and fauna - effects of global warming which cannot be reversed.
As Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations highlighted in his recent speech, "Ours is the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change."
To mark Global Divestment Day in New Zealand and to support the global shift away from fossil fuels we have launched our solarZero programme in Auckland, allowing Kiwis to purchase solar power - not solar panels. For the first time Kiwis are able to generate and buy clean energy from their own roof for a price which is less than they are paying for traditional electricity from the grid.
This first-of-its-kind $0-down plan is designed to let families generate cheaper power without having to choose between helping the environment and saving money.
We know that 85% of Kiwis want to go solar but cannot afford the upfront cost. We have removed that barrier and from today everyone can take a positive step towards a sustainable future free from fossil fuels.