March 10, 2016

Climate guardians challenge Vice Chancellors to move away from fossil fuels

CANBERRA, 10 March. Vice-chancellors were today confronted by climate ‘guardian angels’ at the Higher Education 2016 Conference, calling on them to divest from fossil fuels.

Students dressed as climate ‘guardian angels’ paraded through the conference to demand Vice-Chancellors make the right choice and divest from fossil fuel companies.

“Vice-Chancellors have a clear choice – to support dirty fossil fuel industry and climate change through their investments or champion innovation and a clean future by dumping these investments,” Lead climate guardian angel, Breana Mcapherson-Rice, said.

“We asked the Vice-Chancellors today: which side are you on?

“The city of Newcastle, numerous overseas universities, and the largest sovereign fund in the world have all committed to divest from fossil fuels. If they can do it, why can’t our universities?“How can universities expect to be taken seriously as institutions of innovation if they invest in such a dirty and archaic industry that is actively harming our planet.”Refusing to move on away from fossil fuels would further isolate Vice-Chancellors from their students on this issue.

Multiple referendums on campuses have shown there is overwhelming student support for divestment, including 97% of students at Melbourne University, 82% of students at the ANU and 78% of students at UNSW.” Australia is running a national campaign to push universities to go fossil fuel free.To date, only the Australian National University and the University of Sydney have made partial divestment commitments.
Overseas universities that have partially or fully divested include Stanford University, University of California, Stockholm University, the University of Glasgow, and the London School of Economics.
Media contact: Cambell Klose 0490 436 948
Lead climate guardian angel: Breana Mcapherson-Rice 0434 162 684
350 National Campus Divestment Coordinator: Ray Yoshida 0404 614 469