In a tale that’s been slowly unfolding over the past few months, we’ve gone from ANU promising to stop investing in one gas company, to refusing to share info on its other investments, to being forced to release those documents under the freedom of information act.
What have the students behind the Fossil Free ANU movement found since they gained access to these documents?
Well, it turns out while ANU has been publicly moving aware from investing in one gas company, privately it has been investing in at least eight others.
Tom Swann, the ANU student who requested the documents and spokesperson for the Fossil Free ANU campaign, said: “We expected resistance to cleaning up ANU’s portfolio, but this is really
something else. While appearing to take one step forward, they were actually taking two steps back—and there is much more coal, oil and gas on ANU’s books that they’re clearly not proud of. After requesting the documents in January the student was initially denied access. Following an appeal, ANU has now released some of the documents in heavily redacted form.
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The released documents show in December 2012 ANU held shares worth over $80 million (at current prices) in at least eight companies involved in extracting fossil fuels. Six of these stocks represent carbon reserves in the top 200 for publicly traded companies worldwide
This could be seen as being a little embarrassing for the ANU.