Working hard on the Fossil Free Sydney University campaign

The SRC Enviro team has been very busy over the break. 23 students from USyd went to the Australian Student Environmental Network’s annual conference Students of Sustainability in Canberra. We learnt about the importance of an intersectional environmentalism that fights for Indigenous sovereignty. We learnt about the theory of Just Transitions, an environmental movement that creates jobs through worker’s cooperatives building renewable technologies (check out the new Earthworker Cooperative in Victoria!), and the history of environmentalism in the worker’s movement from Jack Mundey of the Builders Labourers Federation famous for the Green Bans.

Since then we have been working hard on the Fossil Free Sydney University campaign to encourage the University to divest from (cease investment in) fossil fuels and stop profiting from climate change. We are on track, through collecting the constitutionally required 450 undergrad signatures, to having a student referendum on the following question included in the ballot for the upcoming SRC Elections:
“Should your university stop investing, via its shareholdings, in companies whose primary business is the extraction, processing and transportation of coal, oil and gas (fossil fuels)?”

Although it is yet to be finalised, there is support from the campaign from all sides of politics, and we are confident that the referendum will yield a positive result to demonstrate to management students support divestment. Even Council’s sole Liberal councillor, Matthew Wollaston, seems to be making the right noises.

Coming up, we will be running some exciting events with the USU. #LeardBlockade Information night will be at the Verge Gallery at 6pm on Tuesday the 2nd of September. In addition to live music and photography of the site, there will be talks about the Leard State Forest and the variety of different ways students can save it from open cut coal mines. Divestment Day will be held from 11am – 3pm on Wednesday the 10th of September. There will be stalls from divestment organisations and workshops will be run throughout the day to facilitate people getting involved in the campaign, and educating SRC campaigners from various political groups about divestment so they will be able to answer voter questions about the referendum.
***If you want to sign the petition there is one at reception in the SRC and another copy in the USyd Food Co-op on Level 4 Wentworth Building.***

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