We write to urge you to adopt a critical change to the ANU’s investment policies.
In 2014, the ANU made national and international media when it made the decision to divest from seven socially irresponsible mining companies, including two fossil fuel companies. The University stood by its decision despite unprecedented backlash from the Prime Minister and other federal ministers, the Australian Financial Review, and the mining industry. We commend the University for taking this important first step towards fossil fuel divestment.
Yet, ANU still invests over $45 million in fossil fuel companies. To be a true climate leader, ANU needs to finish the work that it started, and divest the rest of its fossil fuel investments.
The Paris Agreement indicates the world is taking action to transition to a low carbon economy. As a global leader in research and education, the ANU has an obligation to lead global efforts to secure a safe climate for future generations.
Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt has said that to keep warming below two degrees, “citizens of the world need to demand it.” As citizens of this university, we demand the ANU take leadership on this issue. This includes fully breaking ties with the fossil fuel industry – the ANU must divest the rest.
In light of this, we, the undersigned, call on the University to:
- Investigate and disclose ANU’s investments in companies that explore, extract, process and transport fossil fuels;
- Cease any new investments in these fossil fuel companies;
- End ANU’s investments in fossil fuel companies within 5 years under a planned divestment regime, with ongoing transparency.
We hope the ANU will take action with the urgency climate change demands.
NOTE: We will be presenting the open letter to Council and the Vice-Chancellor in March. Names will not be disclosed until we reach a minimum of 100 signatures.