Australian Academy of Science is focusing on tackling climate change and as a result withdrawn its direct investments in fossil fuel companies.
The move will be specified in a speech by Australian Academy of Science president Professor Andrew Holmes at a climate science conference in Hobart on Tuesday, in which he will also encourage scientists to be “truth tellers” and fight against “scientific fallacy” in the public discussion.
Recently, the worldwide divestment move, which forcing institutions to remove investment dollars from fossil fuel companies owing to their contribution to climate change, has been gaining grounds in recent years.
In Aussie, organizations like the Australian National University, the Uniting Church peak body and the Newcastle City Council have taken similar steps recently.
In his speech to the Greenhouse 2015 conference, Professor Holmes is anticipated to put the decision in a context of scientists showing leadership within their areas of expertise.
“This is a small step that the academy can take, but it is a step towards discharging our responsibility as scientists, and as leaders in society,” he will say.
Prof Holmes will further indicate that while divestment is a challenging political issue, and the academy remains apolitical, the move could be decided on “rational grounds”.”Is the value that could be derived from fossil fuel activities sustainable in the long term?” the speech says.
“Certainty not from the view of the Earth system, and probably not financially either.”
The academy’s divestment relates just to its direct investments and does not relate to its managed funds and listed investment organisations.
Globally, the California Academy of Sciences has also planned to stop investment ties with fossil fuels.
Significantly in the speech, Professor Holmes will state that to reach the “grand challenge for our modern age” in climate change, scientists should be prepared to enter the public debate and “move beyond being truth seekers” and be “truth tellers”.”We must ensure that we have a hand in shaping the future so it is fit for our children, and their children.”