500 signatures reached
To: Vice-Chancellor Peter Høj
Get Adelaide Uni to Divest from Fossil Fuels
To Vice-Chancellor Peter Høj: Divest University of Adelaide from Fossil Fuels
1. Immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies
2. Divest from direct ownership and from any commingled or managed funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds.
3. Provide full public disclosure of the carbon exposure of UoA's investment and research portfolio and commit to regular & transparent reporting of progress towards steps 1 and 2.
Why is this important?
The recent IPCC report clearly states the urgency of acting on climate change, both at global governance and local institutional levels. Notably, the report advises that unless immediate, rapid and broad-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are achieved within the next decade, the chance of limiting warming to 1.5 or even 2 degrees Celsius will likely be beyond reach. Australia, and neighbouring Pacific regions, are already experiencing the intensifying impacts of climate change. In the last couple of years alone, our country has been subject to record-breaking heat, droughts, and bush fires which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country billions of dollars. It is clear, then, that continuing to invest money in fossil fuels is both financially and morally irresponsible.
We therefore call on the University of Adelaide to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuels, and to divest from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. Recent enquiries made under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that the university holds over $7 million in such shares. Companies listed include BHP-Billiton, Rio Tinto, Chevron, Woodside, Exxon-Mobil, among many others—all of which have set back climate action in Australia (and globally) by waging concerted deny & delay campaigns via lobbying, biased economic modelling and political donations.
The University of Adelaide has a moral responsibility to make sustainable investments for the future and to take strong and immediate action to address climate change. Our investments in science and renewable technologies cannot be taken seriously as long as we continue to invest money in fossil fuel industries that, according to scientific consensus, contribute disproportionately to the climate and ecological crises we’re currently facing.
In Australia and across the world, the divestment movement is gaining ever-increasing support from educational institutions and a host of other organisations who recognise the severity of the climate crisis we’re in and the urgency to act, as per the best scientific advice available. In making a public commitment to divest from fossil fuels, universities are taking a position consistent with the values of academic rigour and scientific integrity held in such high regard by our institutions. A significant number of universities across Australia have already committed to full or partial fossil fuel divestment: University of New South Wales, La Trobe University, Queensland University of Technology, Monash University, Swinburne University, Australian National University, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and University of Tasmania. These include over half Go8 universities, of which UoA is a member. The University of Adelaide is clearly lagging behind in this nationwide trend toward fossil fuel divestment; there is therefore no excuse for further delay.
Finally, our student population overwhelmingly consists of young people who will bear the enduring consequences of climate change. Fossil Free UofA believes that our university has a social responsibility to terminate its investments with companies involved in the extraction, processing and export of fossil fuels, and from any comingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities or corporate bonds. We believe that the institution that has provided us with a future-facing education should not be supporting unethical industries that negatively affect our futures and the future of the planet.