100 signatures reached
To: Vice-chancellor Linda Kristjanson and Chancellor Graham Goldsmith
Divest Swinburne University of Technology From Fossil Fuels
We are asking Swinburne University of Technology to take the following steps to divest from fossil fuels:
1. Commit to full disclosure of the carbon exposure of its investments and provide regular public reports of its progress;
2. Commit to cease any future investment in fossil fuel companies;
3. Divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include investments in fossil fuel companies.
Why is this important?
Swinburne University of Technology is committed to a sustainable, socially just and economically viable future.
Climate change is not simply an environmental problem, but an issue of social justice, intergenerational equity, and the viability for future human endeavors. It is now widely understood that we cannot safely burn even one-third of global fossil fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years.
We are already witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in the last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and extreme rainfall. These events had a grave impact on hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country billions of dollars. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters.
Through its current investment portfolio, Swinburne is facilitating and profiting from the continued and expanding extraction and burning of fossil fuels, despite the harm that these practices are known to be causing to many millions of people worldwide. It is unethical and immoral for universities to be investing in, and profiting from companies that will condemn the planet to climate disaster. Therefore, we are calling on Swinburne University of Technology to divest from the fossil fuel industry.
We believe divestment not only makes sense morally, but increasingly also financially, given the decrease in oil prices and associated investments and likelihood of a ‘carbon bubble’ bursting. Continued investment in companies that extract fossil fuels represents a significant risk to Swinburne as these companies will face large devaluations when the world moves to lower emission energy sources. We are concerned about Swinburne’s exposure to this financial risk.
Swinburne prides itself on its innovative spirit and leadership such as becoming the first smoke-free campus in Victoria last year. We think there is a real opportunity for Swinburne to show this innovation and foresight again regarding fossil fuel divestment, leading the Australian higher education sector in embracing a path towards a feasible solution and setting a benchmark for other universities.
Let's strengthen Swinburne’s commitment to sustainability and social justice by going fossil free.