We are working with Fossil Free Unis Australia and the Sunshine Coast Environment Council to drive a Fossil Free campaign to encourage USC to make a public commitment that they won’t invest in fossil fuels and divest from any current fossil fuel investment.
What exactly is fossil fuel divestment?
It’s very simple. Rather than investing your money, you do the opposite and get rid of any investments that are linked to the fossil fuel industry.
The global #GoFossilFree movement is asking institutions to do just that and to move their money out of the oil, coal and gas industries for moral and financial reasons.
Is it going to work?
Do you remember the terrible system of racial segregation in South Africa referred to as the Apartheid? In the mid-1980s, a similar divestment campaign saw 155 campuses in the United States, 26 state governments and 90 cities join forces and take their money away from multinationals that did business in South Africa.
What happened? The divestment campaign helped break the Apartheid government and lead the country into a new era of justice and equality.
If it worked then, it will work now.
Why target universities specifically?
Most Australian universities pride themselves on promoting sustainable practices in their operations, curriculum and research. In fact, many of them are members of the Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability network and develop strategies aimed at reducing their carbon footprint, promoting environmentally sustainable design (ESD) and implementing sustainable transport initiatives.
Yet, all but a few still invest millions of dollars in the fossil fuel industry, directly or indirectly. Their continued support of this dirty industry is not only a threat to our climate, it is also a risk for the future of their students, their reputation and their investment returns.
“As respected public institutions charged with educating tomorrow’s leaders, universities are uniquely placed to remove the social license the fossil fuel industry currently has to pollute our planet for free” (Fossil Free Universities Australia).
There are now over 15 campaigns across Australia building the support of students, academics and alumni and calling on universities to divest from fossil fuels.
How can you contribute?
We’re planning something for the upcoming Global Divestment Mobilisation in May 2017. Check out the video below and stay tuned!
Contact us if you’re interested in joining our team.