fossil fuel divestment

Students at RMIT marched through Melbourne on May 12 as part of a global push for fossil fuel divestment.

After making noise throughout the university they ended their march with a game of hopscotch outside the university management offices to show university management how they can make the leap to divestment.

Thanks to three years of pressure from students and staff, RMIT has introduced new investment principles which put it in the right position to divest.

While this is an important step for the university it still has to make the leap and actually divest.

On October 18, students delivered an open letter to Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean signed by 401 RMIT academics and staff calling on the university to dump its fossil fuel investments.

Fossil fuel divestment is gathering pace around Australia and the world. More and more individuals and organisations are pulling their investment assets out of companies involved with the exploration, extraction, production or financing of fossil fuels.

Now that the University of Tasmania (UTas) is implementing a carbon neutral policy, it is time to focus efforts on full divestment from fossil fuels. Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance activist Emma Field asked Carly Rusden from Fossil Free UTas about their latest action.

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I put a few banners up to represent our group Fossil Free UTas today. This is mainly to raise awareness of the fact that the university has some investments, directly and indirectly, in coal, oil and other fossil fuel industries.

Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance (RYSA) released the following statement on October 27 in support of the Fossil Free UTas occupation.

The following day Fossil Free UTas announced that they were ending the occupation and restarting negotiations after two days of productive meetings with the university management.

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Students from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) marched through the university on September 22 to deliver a 1000-signature petition to the Vice Chancellor calling on the administration to divest from the fossil fuel industry.

Student group Fossil Free RMIT is calling on the university to rule out any further investment in fossil fuel stocks, make a public declaration of commitment to fully divest in a specified time as well as periodic reporting of its divestment progress.

Melbourne climate activists staged an “End of Coal” parade on August 13. They were celebrating the Commonwealth Bank’s decision to cancel its involvement with Adani’s Galilee coal proposals. They called on all Australia’s Banks to stop investing in fossil fuels.

Scientists have warned that if humanity is to avoid catastrophic climate change — which means limiting a rise in average global temperature to 2°C above that of pre-industrial times — most known fossil fuels reserves have to stay in the ground.

The science is lost on the Tony Abbott government, which argues that Australia’s vast fossil fuel reserves will ensure the country’s energy remains “cheap”.

Pressure is mounting on Australia’s big four banks over their support for the construction of coalmines in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Greenpeace launched a public email campaign targeting the executives of ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac, “to publicly rule out financing or advising Adani [Mining] on the Carmichael coal mine and associated infrastructure project in the Great Barrier Reef or Queensland”.

In the lead-up to the first global divestment day on February 14, the University of Sydney announced it will reduce the carbon footprint of its investments by 20% within three years by divesting from heavy polluters.

But it has shied away from divesting from fossil fuels altogether.

The decision follows a sustained student-led campaign, with support from Greenpeace, that has been urging the university to completely divest its investments in fossil fuels.

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