Sydney University’s Report Card

28 August 2014

From the national headlines to the private board rooms of Sydney Uni, people are talking about us. Do you know why?

Sydney University, it's time to dump Whitehaven!

In the last week, over 24,000 Greenpeace supporters have called on Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence to divest from Whitehaven Coal – owners of the largest coal mine under construction in Australia.

People power is working. We’ve seen a great response, and some important first steps – but we’re not there yet.

Here’s exactly what the University of Sydney have done, and what they still have to do.

tickCommitted to review fossil fuel investments

By conducting a review, Sydney University has taken a leadership role, implicitly admitting that fossil fuels are unethical investments.On Monday, the University of Sydney acknowledged Whitehaven Coal is a dodgy investment by announcing a review of their investment policy.

tickStopped further investments in coal and consumable fuels during review period, including Whitehaven Coal

This is an important first step, but university management already know enough about Whitehaven – who are flattening endangered forest, trashing Indigenous Australian heritage sites and destroying prime farmland – to sell their shares today. Sydney Uni also announced it would “make no further investments in the coal and consumable fuels subsector of the ASX” – including Whitehaven Coal – while their review is underway.

crossDumped shares in Whitehaven Coal

Not only is Whitehaven Coal responsible for the largest coal mine under construction in Australia, it’s also flattening endangered forest, trashing Indigenous Australian heritage sites and destroying prime farmland. When up and running, Maules Creek will contribute 30 million tons of CO2 emissions per year, speeding up dangerous global warming.But each day that the University of Sydney delays is another day that Whitehaven Coal can use university money to push its destructive plans through.

Even smart people make dumb choices – but the University of Sydney can fix this now.


Grade: C+. Shows great potential, but could do better.

Let’s keep the pressure on Sydney University to dump their existing $1 million investment in Whitehaven Coal by letting them know we’re still paying attention. Call on Sydney Uni to stop funding a mine that is destroying local farmers’ livelihoods, trampling indigenous heritage sites, and contributing to dangerous global warming.