Students campaigning against ANU’s fossil fuel investments welcome its new contract for information from ethical investment experts CAER, announced today, but warn ANU cannot outsource its ethics and must choose to lead.
Tom Swann, Master of Climate Change student and spokesperson for Fossil Free ANU, says “We welcome ANU choosing CAER as a provider of ethical investment information. But we are still yet to see what information they are actually buying and what ANU will do with it.”
“Even the IMF is now saying we should be heavily taxing coal to internalise the damage it inflicts. That sets a baseline for the kind of information we expect and we will be doing our own research to make sure Council gets the full picture.”
“At the end of the day, the real test of leadership is what ANU does with this information.”
“ANU can’t outsource their ethics. They will have to choose to be leaders.
“We know ANU wants to look like a leader — they have managed to get their new consultants to say they are “leading” three times in one sentence!”
“But you can’t pay for leadership. You have to earn it.”
“If ANU is honest with themselves and the ANU community, they will confront the damage done by fossil fuels and divest.”
Recent victories in the fossil fuel divestment movement include the World Council of Churches, representing 500m Christians, Stanford University, and UniSuper, the superannuation fund for Australian university employees.
The Fossil Free ANU campaign now has 1500 signatures of support from staff, students and alumni. This semester it will be gathering academic support and running a student referendum, in the lead up the Council decision in November.
Fossil Free ANU was one of the first fossil fuel divestment campaigns in the world and the first in Australia. There are now campus divestment campaigns on most Australian universities and hundreds worldwide.
ANU/ CAER press release: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4OaRwik4azIWUg0MVNFZURVNkk/edit?usp=sharing
Tom Swann 0412 166 490