ACT News

Save
Print

Campaign calls for ACT government to divest fossil fuel interests

Religious leaders, trade union members, health associations and environmental campaigners will seek to deliver an open letter to Treasurer Andrew Barr on Thursday, calling on the ACT Government to divest its interests in fossil fuels including coal, oil and gas. 

Members of about 20 community organisations will gather outside the ACT Legislative Assembly to continue their campaign for territory divestment from more than 80 of the world's top 200 fossil fuel companies, challenging Mr Barr to be a "true leader on climate change." 

The group will include representatives from union United Voice, the Public Health Association of Australia, the Uniting Church, Conservation Council and campaigners from 350.org, and will seek to present Mr Barr with an "giant version" of their open letter.

Fossil Free ACT campaign spokesman Josh Creaser said the government worked to screen out the very worst of the fossil fuel sector in line with its commitment to responsible investment.

"Despite having a responsible investments policy and strong commitment to climate action, the ACT Government holds shares in some of the most notorious coal and coal seam gas companies in Australia including Whitehaven Coal, Santos and Glencore," he said. 

"If we liken the production of fossil fuels to drink driving, the ACT Government's approach is to only punish drivers after an accident has occurred rather than taking preventative action.

Advertisement

"We know for a fact that the burning of fossil fuels will have serious consequences for the future and the only responsible approach is to cease investing in all fossil fuels."

Mr Creaser and members of the campaign have been engaging with Mr Barr's office for nearly 12 months over concerns about territory investments. 

A spokesman for Mr Barr said he would not meet the group on Thursday, which is a sitting day for Assembly members.  

Mr Barr received correspondence from 350.org in August and staff in his office have previously met with group representatives.

In March, about 100 members of the campaign rallied at the Assembly.