fossil fuel divestment campaign

About 100 students from universities across Australia and New Zealand shared campaign stories and made plans for the year ahead at the Fossil Free Convergence in the Blue Mountains in NSW over March 10–13.

Organised by 350.org, the convergence brought together fossil fuel divestment groups from universities across Australia and New Zealand, including the Australian National University, University of Auckland, University of Queensland, Melbourne University, RMIT, University of Newcastle and University of New South Wales — which brought 25–30 people to the conference.

Monash University's draft Environmental, Social and Governance statement has ruled out directly investing in fossil fuel production — currently about 10% of their investments — and commits to phase out indirect investments in coal production over the next 12 months.

While this is a great first step, the bad news is there is no mention of gas or oil.

The statement comes after more than a year of sustained pressure from staff and students for the university to divest from all fossil fuel investments and commit to completely ending their ties to the fossil fuel industry.

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) announced on October 27 that it will join the movement to screen out fossil fuel interests from its investment portfolio. It will also look for ethical investment opportunities in renewable energy.

It is the first Australian union to commit to divest from fossil fuels, and follows its decision to adopt a position on ethical investment at its national meeting held in Melbourne, October 8-10.

The union represents tens of thousands working at tertiary education institutions around the country.

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