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Victoria University leads charge to fossil fuel divestment

Press Release – 350 Aotearoa

350 Aotearoa congratulates Victoria University on its decision to become the first university in New Zealand to divest from fossil fuels. This is a major milestone for the institution and demonstrates true leadership of New Zealand universities …Victoria University leads the charge towards fossil fuel divestment in New Zealand

Wellington, November 2 2014 – 350 Aotearoa congratulates Victoria University on its decision to become the first university in New Zealand to divest from fossil fuels. This is a major milestone for the institution and demonstrates true leadership of New Zealand universities on the world stage.

“Universities are at the center of innovation and critical thinking and should rightly be leading the charge not to have investments in industries that pollute our air, land and water and contribute to climate change” said Ashlee Gross 350 Aotearoa Spokesperson and Victoria university alumni.

Victoria will be joining the likes of other prestigious institutions worldwide such as Stanford University, Australian National University and Glasgow University in withdrawing from investment in fossil fuel companies. The decision sets the standard for other universities around New Zealand such as Auckland, Otago and Canterbury.

“I’m proud to be studying at a university that has taken the lead in divesting from fossil fuels. This shows a commitment to take action on climate change. It is an excellent, forward-looking decision for current and future generations of students” says Rick Zwann, student and Vice President of Welfare for the Victoria University Student Association.

The global divestment movement, ‘Go Fossil Free’, has grown faster than any previous divestment campaigns including anti-apartheid, armaments and tobacco according to a study by Oxford University. Action has been taken to divest by the heirs to the Rockefeller fortune and many faith institutions around the world including the Anglican and Presbyterian churches of New Zealand.

For more information, visit http://gofossilfree.org/nz/

Oxford Study (referenced): www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/research/stranded-assets/SAP-divestment-report-final.pdf

ENDS

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