UOA Divestment in Fossil Fuels: Green-Lit Or No?

Press Release – Auckland University Students Association


The contribution of Fossil Fuels to the global phenomenon of Climate Change is apparent.Scientists across the world continuously confirm the effects of global warming and other conditional events to have an active and ongoing effect on the way our planet operates and adapts. This ordinarily would be a process of change which allows the planet to ‘breathe’, yet with the human modification of the system, to a degree in which our atmosphere and subsequently weather systems, are altered now indefinitely. Something needs to change.

Presently, University of Auckland students are taking to a march on campus directed at the Vice-Chancellor Dr. Stuart McCutcheson to divest in fossil fuels. This comes off the back of a sit-in protest at the university’s Clocktower merely days before. After years of attempted change, this really is the culmination of their hard work- two years of event-holding; petition signing; awareness campaigns and lecture presentations, to be led in a forced sit-in and the subsequent march.

In its background sits the decision of Victoria University’s Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford in choosing to listen to the students and staff’s calls for divestment. This coincides with Otago University’s additional motion of support in favour of divestment. Here, the message has been made clear: Fossil fuels are ruining our planet. The University of Auckland has been providing massive injections of investment via its University of Auckland Foundation, fully aware that its donations are building upon companies and initiatives that use fossil fuel prospecting and extraction.

Student protest is often a maximum effort for little gain, but in this instance it has proven successful across a number of institutions, and the actions given by UoA’s students may indeed prove the turning of the tide against the mind of McCutcheson.

It is the hope therefore, of the students; staff and alumni, that the university will divest in its investment of millions into the Fossil Fuel industry. In this electric moment, hopefully their Vice-Chancellor will listen, engage in, and understand the dangers that our planet faces. It is yet to be seen whether the modus operandi of ‘University as a business’ remains a reality being faced in today’s civic environment as the shouts and cries of the protest begin to lift.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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