Victory For Divestment Campaign

The campaign, which AEU ACT proudly supported, has achieved a huge victory with Chief Minister Barr pledging to go fossil free. 

At the ACT ALP Conference, the Chief Minister declared:

And in stark contrast with Mr Abbott, who insists coal is good for humanity, I can confirm today that my Government is taking ongoing action to further divest the ACT investment portfolio of high-carbon emitting companies and sectors – all without costing the Canberra community a single cent.

The decision means the Government will no longer invest in companies that extract, produce and transport fossil fuels.

This is a credit to our friends at Canberra who have campaigned so hard to achieve this outcome. They've shown once again that committed campaigning pays off.

AEU ACT has proudly supported 350’s Fossil Free ACT campaign. At its meeting on October 25, 2014, Council passed the following resolution, moved by Karl-erik Paasonen.

Branch Council commends the work of the Pacific Warriors in drawing attention to the effects of the actions of successive Australian governments in promoting and facilitating the export of coal, a major contributor to rising sea-levels through global warming. Branch Council also commends the decision taken by the ANU to divest its financial holdings in coal production and export despite the hostile campaign run against that decision by the Coalition Government, right wing media and coal industry lobbyists.

Branch Council calls upon the Branch Secretary to communicate in writing with the leaders of all major political parties in the ACT Legislative Assembly, calling upon them to divest any financial holdings in BHP Billiton, Anglo American, Peabody Energy, Glencore, Exxon Mobil, as they are the largest-polluting companies in which the ACT government has direct investments.

In addition to writing to the Chief Minister as per Council's direction, Glenn spoke in December at the launch of Global Divestment Day. He remarked:

As educators who devote our professional lives to guiding, fostering and inspiring the next generation, we believe we have a deep stake in the issue of climate change and in the global campaign to combat it. Our daily mission is to impart to young people the skills, knowledge and wisdom to live a meaningful and prosperous life. As we all know too well, the consequences of unmitigated global warming threaten to shatter that mission unless, together, we take continued and concerted action.

This win is another illustration of the growing power of the global divestment movement. AEU ACT will continue to explore how we can further divestment from fossil fuels, in our own finances and that of partner organisations. 

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