Academy withdraws investments in fossil fuels

An aerial view of a large open cut mine showing black coal with farmland in the distance
The Australian Academy of Science has withdrawn its direct investments in fossil fuel companies. Photo: Jeremy Buckingham, Flickr

The Australian Academy of Science has withdrawn its direct investments in fossil fuel companies.

Academy President Professor Andrew Holmes AM PresAA FRS FTSE announced the Academy’s divestment of direct links to fossil fuel activities in its investment portfolio at the Greenhouse 2015 conference in Hobart in October, giving effect to a decision made by Council earlier this year.

Professor Holmes’s speech was wide ranging and explored the Academy’s involvement in science policy and climate change over the last four decades. Professor Holmes explained the Academy’s decision in this way:

Divestment is a difficult political issue, and the Academy is fiercely apolitical. Despite this, it’s a decision that we can make on rational grounds. Is the value that could be derived from fossil fuel activities sustainable in the long term? Certainly not from the view of the Earth system, and probably not financially either. It is possible to put our support behind activities that are most sustainable, both financially and environmentally, so we have therefore committed to do so.

The full speech is on the Academy’s website and an extract has been published in The Conversation. The announcement attracted wide media coverage, including from the ABC, The Guardian and The Sydney Morning Herald. 

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science

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