December 13, 2016

REPORT: Fossil fuel divestment doubles in size as institutions representing almost AUD $7 trillion commit to divest

SYDNEY, 13 December — The global movement to divest from fossil fuels has doubled in size since September 2015, and Australia is leading the world in divestments according to the third annual Global Fossil Fuel Divestment and Clean Energy Investment Movement report from Arabella Advisors. The report, released today by the Divest-Invest network, comes exactly one year after world governments reached the Paris agreement on climate change.

Global commitments to divest have reached 688 institutions across 76 countries, representing AUD$6.7 trillion in assets under management.1 Australia has more divested institutions per capita than any other developed country, and is second only in absolute number of divestments to the US.

This includes 30 local councils, 10 super funds, 7 universities and institutions such as Australian Capital Territory’s government, Australian Academy of Science, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, National Tertiary Education Union.

“As the Turnbull Government stutters to a stop on climate action the success of the divestment movement in Australia and around the world is undeniable,” said Australia CEO Blair Palese. “In the face of intensifying climate impacts, and a government that is more interested in building coal mines than wind turbines, it’s more critical than ever that our institutions — especially at the local level — step up to break free from fossil fuel companies.”

“The Australian Government may be dragging its feel on climate, but businesses and organisations around the country are shifting their money away from fossil fuels at a record rate.

“The popularity and success of divestment in Australia proves that Australians want an end to the bitter partisanship and cheap politicking off the back of climate change and want to see real solutions to the biggest challenge of our generation.”

Five days ahead of the release of this report, campaigners with Divest Nobel released a letter signed by 17 Nobel laureates around the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, calling on the Nobel Foundation to act in Alfred Nobel’s will and divest from fossil fuels.