Originally posted at Business Spectator on October 28, 2015.
Australia’s first trade union, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) pledged to divest fossil fuel companies from its investment portfolio and shift them towards renewable energy.
NTEU’s membership is largely made up of university workers and academics, with 25,000 members. The union’s announcement overlaps with the larger university divestment push that has been driven by environment group 350.org, with the NTEU passing a motion in support of universities divesting from fossil fuels at their National Council meeting earlier this month.
Announcing the decision, NTEU National President Jeannie Rea said, “The tertiary education sector is a leader when it comes to teaching and research on climate change and sustainability. It makes sense to ensure the union’s investments are not benefitting companies that are contributing to an unsustainable future.”
The decision comes on top of the Australian Academy of Science, the peak representative group for Australian scientists, announcing on Tuesday 27 October that it would also divest from fossil fuels.