Students welcome University of Auckland Foundation's fossil fuel divestment

The University of Auckland (UoA) Foundation has announced it has committed to moving towards zero investment in fossil fuels.

On Friday its trustees, who manage a $224 million investment portfolio, said they will reduce their investment in the top fossil fuel companies down to 0.5 percent or less by December 2020.

The news is welcomed by student group Fossil Free UoA, which says it is "ecstatic" the university has "finally stepped up".

"We could not be prouder of what we have helped to achieve; breaking the social licence of coal, oil and gas companies and showing the impact a people power movement can have," says spokesperson Isaac Ottley.

"This decision sends a clear signal to the fossil fuel industry that our centres for future learning do not support their continued exploitation of our environment and fuelling of climate destruction."

Fossil Free UoA has spent five years campaigning for the change, including lobbying, protest marches and occupation of the vice-chancellor's office in 2017.

"From the beginning, this campaign was about showing that it's not acceptable for institutions and organisations to profit from the wrecking of our planet's environment," Ottley says.

"In the age of climate breakdown where the Amazon is on fire and communities in Kiribati are facing record king tides, breaking free from fossil fuels is an ethical imperative - and we are proud that the University is fulfilling its role as critic and conscience of society in this way."


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