Tag Archives: Fossil Fuel

New ANU VC must turn energy vision into investment leadership – Press Release

Appointment of Brian Schmidt as the new ANU Vice-Chancellor is an opportunity for ANU to show real leadership on Australia’s move away from fossil fuels, say students behind the campaign to divest the rest of ANU’s fossil fuel investments.

Claire Gardner, spokesperson for Fossil Free ANU, said “Brian Schmidt understands how serious the carbon problem is getting, for the planet and for Australia’s economic future. He sees Australia’s future is in clean energy.” [Quotes below]

“If ANU is going to lead Australia through these debates, Brian must get ready to take a principled stand on these issues at the ANU. That includes our fossil fuel investments.”

“How can ANU lead the energy transition when it stays invested in the industries trying to hold us in the past?”

Last year the ANU divested from two fossil fuel companies, but held on to major oil and coal producers. The global divestment movement is growing rapidly – Oxford, Stanford, Edinburgh have all divested coal, along with around 30 other unis. MIT may soon join them.

“To be an elite university, ANU must take a principled stand on fossil fuels, or risk getting left behind.”

“We congratulate Brian Schmidt on his new position. It is great to see a leader appointed from within the ANU community. That community will expect Mr Schmidt to take further steps towards making ANU a leading university on this issue.”

“Schmidt says that keeping global warming below 2 degrees means “citizens of the world need to demand it”. Citizens of his own university will continue to call for leadership until ANU has divested from the fossil fuels that are causing this warming and holding back the transition. Fossil Free ANU gladly welcomes any dialogue with Mr Schmidt about how the university may best lead Australia towards a clean energy and safe climate future.”


“Climate change is…the great challenge for humanity over the next 100 years”.

“I see this as an issue where the beginnings of the problems will come towards the end of my life. … As for my grandkids, who don’t exist yet, I really do fear for them and humanity if we don’t tackle this.”

“Yes we do have large reservoirs of coal, which are probably not going to be able to be used. I fully expect that the demand for Australia’s coal reserves will drop off dramatically in the next 20 years.”

“Australians should be looking to help secure our own future. … If you look at our strategic advantage, one might argue we have even more advantages in a renewable energy economy than in a fossil fuel one.”



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ANU’s Carbon Budget Solutions — Have your say!

ANU has announced it will develop a policy on socially responsible investment (SRI)! This is great news, after we revealed over $80 million investments coal, gas and oil on ANU’s books.

But the policy may end up too weak to stop more fossil fuel investments. ANU’s advisors are already recommending the policy shouldn’t require ANU to go fossil free. :(

What’s more, the VC has decided there’s no need for public input. We disagree, and that’s why we’re launching this consultation on ANU’s Carbon Budget Solutions.


Click here to have your say.


Invest in our future, not fossil fuels!

Points we made in our submission:

  • ANU is has a great reputation for leadership on sustainability teaching and research, which should extend to its investments.
  • Fossil fuel extraction damages local health, water, ecosystems and communities.
  • As the Climate Commission recently discussed, 80% of the world’s fossil fuels must stay unburnt to meet our government’s own safety target of 2 degree temperature increase.
  • It cannot be socially responsible to profit from this damage.
  • Divesting would secure ANU’s finances over the medium term, protecting it from the ‘carbon bubble’  from global climate action and falling renewables costs.
  • Leadership through divestment would also make ANU a more attractive option for donations; fossil fuel investments will turn away donors who wont want their money put into coal mines and fracking.
  • The divestment movement is booming around the world and ANU should lead, not get left behind. Among those already going fossil free are San Francisco, Seattle and many other US Cities, US Colleges including San Francisco State, and churches including the Uniting Church in NSW and ACT.
  • Divestment isn’t risky: if US Colleges had divested 10 years ago, they would have made more money!

You can read Fossil Free ANU’s submission here.

Read on to see our response to the Vice-Chancellor, as well as a record of our email correspondences.

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University Council Investing Unethically?

And then I said...we invest ethically

And then I said…we invest ethically

At the last meeting of University Council in May (see previous minutes and agendas here), student representatives from ANUSA and PARSA pushed the top brass to develop a concrete ethical investments policy, through consultation and the formation of an ethical investments committee. We’ve just received confirmation that the ANU will not be holding public consultations on the issue!

We need to show the ANU that this is an issue the public is willing to fight for! Click the link on the right to sign our petition, and stay tuned to see how you can help Fossil Free ANU with our submission to the Council.

Read more to find out about developments in ANU’s approach to investment and ethics.

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