240 University of Auckland troughers sign letter to stop investment in fossil fuels

240 University of Auckland troughers have gotten themselves involved in a highly political campaign to force divestment in fossil fuels.

Pressure has mounted on foundations linked to the University of Auckland to pull their money from fossil fuel companies, with 240 university staff signing an open letter backing the shift.

The letter – signed by prominent faculty members including Dame Anne Salmond, Professor Jane Kelsey, Dr Niki Harre and Professor Peter Adams – comes two weeks after 13 students staged a 12-hour sit-in at Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon’s wing in the university’s historic clock tower.

The student-led Fossil Free UoA campaign targets the University of Auckland Foundation and the School of Medicine Foundation, which hold $120 million, of which 1.5 per cent is estimated to be invested in companies with fossil fuel interests.

The campaign is pushing for the foundations to follow the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington and Auckland Council by severing any ties with coal, oil and gas companies as a show of action on climate change.

A divestment “would indicate that the university is willing to place its institutional weight unequivocally behind efforts aimed at limiting future global warming to well below two degrees, as called for in the 2015 Paris agreement”, the letter stated.

“As the critic and conscience of society, institutions such as our university play a critical role in shaping public opinion on issues of global relevance and urgency such as climate change,” said Dr Rhys Jones, a senior lecturer at the university’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, who has been leading the staff group.

“Divesting from fossil fuels is a practical and effective step which demonstrates that the university will not condone the continued extraction of fossil fuels when research has shown that 80 per cent of existing reserves must stay in the ground for us to remain below 2C of global warming.”

The letter, along with another statement backed by the Auckland University Students’ Association and 22 other student organisations on campus, is to be considered at a foundations meeting this Friday.

I think the foundations should look at divesting in the programmes of these politically motivated university staff.

One wonders how they make it into work each day? Bus? Car? Train?

Will they stop using whiteboards, white board markers, anything with plastic, including their bikes and kayaks? What about the coating on all the computer cabling, the casings on their computers, in fact the computers themselves made with components that use fossil fuels?

I also wonder just how Boyd Swinburn can make it to his dozens of world wide conferences that he attends yearly if he takes a personal stand and stops using transportation that requires fossil fuels. Yes, that’s right the hypocrite is a signatory to this letter.

One wonders how he got to Sao Paulo in Brazil for his latest junket?

Why do they think they can be so idealistic on other people’s money?

Let’s see them practice what they preach and stop using fossil fuels in their lives…or they could quit.

Then maybe we will get some people who aren’t idiots.

-NZ Herald


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

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