May 6, 2016

West Australia’s largest council divests $176 million from fossil fuels

The biggest council in Western Australia – the City of Stirling – this week announced their bold rejection of fossil fuels by unanimously voting to move their $176 million investments away from coal, oil and gas.

The same week the Federal Government unveiled a budget that doesn’t mention climate change once, the largest local government area in Western Australia’s decision to reject fossil fuels is a strong repudiation of Federal climate inaction. Stirling is the 21st council in Australia to divest their money away from fossil fuels and the 5th in WA.

“The moral case against fossil fuels is getting stronger and stronger,” said local resident Michael Fab. “I’m pleased and proud to see the City of Stirling commit to turn their back on this destructive industry.”

“I’m astounded that on the back of the hottest year on record, the Great Barrier Reef dying in front of our eyes, and horrific bushfires, that the Federal Government have announced no clear climate policy. It is therefore up to local government like the City of Stirling to pick up the slack.”

“The councillors have shown true leadership this week in this decision and are a model for other councils to follow. Fossil fuel shares are in free fall around the world. This is a very wise decision the council has made on behalf of its 220,000 residents.”

Stirling’s divestment followed a concerted campaign by the local group Perth. It is part of a broader movement to get organisations to move their money away from fossil fuels.

“As we head towards a federal election, it’s time our elected representatives in Canberra took their lead from the work of local governments across Australia who are getting on with the job of tackling climate change,” Australia divestment campaigner, Isaac Astill, said.

In committing to divest, the City of Stirling joins over 500 institutions worldwide, representing US$3.4 trillion. They include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Universities of Monash, Oxford and Stanford.

You can see the full City of Stirling divestment motion here.

Media contact:

Cambell Klose 0490 436 948