For all its leading research and highly regarded academic reputation, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) is behind the times on where to put its money, with Right to Information documents revealing UTAS has increased its investment in fossil fuel companies tenfold over an 18 month period, Greens’ Climate spokesperson, Cassy O’Connor MP, said today.
“RTI documents obtained by ‘Fossil Free UTAS’ reveal a disconnect between what UTAS says through the ethical and scientific rigour of its teaching, and what it does in order to increase the size of its investment portfolio,” Ms O’Connor said.
“The students attending UTAS today and in the future are the generations who will confront the frightening reality of global warming, yet the esteemed institution which provides their further education is investing in companies which are contributing to rising fossil fuel emissions.”
“Ethically, it’s hard to argue that is any longer an appropriate response from UTAS to the enormous challenge of global warming.”
“As Fossil Free UTAS also points out, this is a questionable strategy from a financial perspective as well, with a number of serious global investors, such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, offloading their investments in fossil fuels.”
“UTAS could and should be basing its investment strategy on ethical investments, including into renewable energy technology that will help humanity to tackle climate change. It’s also a good fit with Tasmania’s clean, green and clever brand,” Ms O’Connor said.