To: University Trustees, Directors and Governors

Divest the University of Notre Dame Sydney Australia from Fossil Fuels

Divest the University of Notre Dame Sydney Australia from Fossil Fuels

We call on Notre Dame University to implement policies that will decrease waste and pollution, reduce energy consumption and to divest in carbon intensive industries. To divest in fossil fuel now will also avoid the future collapse of the carbon bubble[1].

We also call on the school to start moving away from carbon intensive electricity and look at ways that renewable energy can be included in the supply, to thereby reduce the multiple health impacts of particulate matter and methylmercury, to minimise our carbon footprint and reduce our contribution to anthropogenic climate change. These changes need to be implemented across Australia and Universities have an opportunity to lead by example.

Why is this important?

The consensus for action on climate change is overwhelming. Over 97% of climate scientists globally[2] , the CSIRO[3], United Nations, the Australian Academy of Science [3] and every major national science academy in the industrialised world [5] agree the planet is warming and the observed changes are almost certainly caused by human green house gas emissions and they agree that we need to act now. Virtually every government has acknowledged the threat of climate change and have agreed that we must limit an increase in global temperature to 2 degrees.

Amongst the health profession, the World Health Organisation[6], the Australian Medical Association[7], Australian Medical Students' Association[8], Australian College Rural Remote Medicine[9], Australian Nursing Federation[10], Australian Physiotherapists Association[11], Australian Psychological Society[12], Public Health Association of Australia[13], Royal Australian college of Physicians[14], Australian healthcare and hospitals association[15], Members of the Climate And Health Alliance (CAHA)[16] and members of the Global Green and healthy hospitals network[17], all agree that this is an issue that we need to address now. Climate change is responsible for the deaths of 400,000 people globally each year and is costing the global economy $1.2 trillion annually[18].

References: (All last accessed: 21st May, 2013)
[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/19/carbon-bubble-financial-crash-crisis
[2] http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107
[3] http://www.csiro.au/en/Outcomes/Climate/Understanding.aspx
[4] http://science.org.au/policy/climatechange-g8+5.html
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Statements_by_scientific_organizations_of_national_or_international_standing
[6] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/index.html
[7] https://ama.com.au/node/4442
[8] http://media.amsa.org.au/policy/2010/2010_climate_change_and_health_policy.pdf
[9] https://www.acrrm.org.au/country-watch-6-january
[10] http://anf.org.au/documents/policies/PS_Climate_Change.pdf
[11] http://www.physiotherapy.asn.au/DocumentsFolder/APAWCM/Advocacy/PositionStatement_2017_ClimateChange.pdf
[12] http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/Position-statement-climate-change-August2010.pdf
[13] www.phaa.net.au/documents/policy/20081006revisedClimateChange.pdf
[14] http://www.racp.edu.au/index.cfm?objectid=F30B227E-D741-D52C-7E5B74679D3F43BF
[15] http://ahha.asn.au/sites/default/files/publication/15361/120726_greening_hospitals_and_healthcare_services_-_policy_brief.pdf
[16] http://caha.org.au/about/members/
[17] http://greenhospitals.net/members/
[18] http://www.phaa.net.au/documents/121002Inaction%20on%20climate%20change%20now%20a%20leading%20cause%20of%20deaths%20globally.pdf
See also: http://lockthecampus.org/