August 22, 2015

ACT Government to divest from fossil fuels

(CANBERRA) — 350.org Canberra and the Conservation Council ACT Region have this afternoon welcomed the announcement from Chief Minister Andrew Barr that the ACT will become the first Australian government to divest from fossil fuels.

The announcement comes after a two year community campaign that has seen health, faith, union and environment groups call on the Barr Government to divest from coal, oil and gas companies.

“We are delighted to see the Government stand up for a safe climate and clean energy future by committing to get the territory’s money out of coal, oil and gas companies” said Josh Creaser, 350.org Canberra spokesperson.

“In stark contrast to the Federal Government and their dogged support for the coal industry, the ACT is once again taking the lead on climate action by committing to go fossil free.”

Larry O’Loughlin , ACT Conservation Council spokesperson said “This is a strong step from Chief Minister Barr. We look forward to seeing a full plan from the ACT Government by the end of 2015 that delivers full divestment from fossil fuels by 2018.”

In August, the Government’s Budget Estimates Committee – with Labor and Liberal representatives – recommended that the Government ‘consider sensible and well‑timed divestment of its holdings in fossil fuels’. This afternoon the ACT Labor Party passed a motion in support of divestment with the backing of the Chief Minister.

ACT Labor has also announced a plan for the Territory to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ACT’s announcement brings the total number of institutions around the world that have committed to divest up to 350.

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For comment:

Josh Creaser – 350.org Canberra –  0410 745 005

Larry O’Loughlin – ACT Conservation Council – 0419 266 110

Details of the motion

The motion was moved by the Black Mountain Sub-branch at today’s ALP ACT Conference:

The ACT Government refrain from new investments in fossil fuel companies in which it does not have a controlling interest (less than 50%) The ACT Government develops a plan to responsibly divest over a five year period from companies that are listed in the Carbon Underground Top 200 list published by Fossil Free Indexes. The ACT Government makes public its plan to divest from fossil fuels.

Background Information

As at 30 June ACT Government invests in 69 of world’s 200 largest fossil fuel companies including:

  • Exxon Mobil
  • Whitehaven Coal
  • Peabody
  • Glencore
  • Anglo American
  • Santos
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