Fossil Fuel Divestment and Universities: Can They, Should They?


Friday Seminar Series

Start Date

22nd Apr 2016 1:00pm

End Date

22nd Apr 2016 2:00pm


Law 132 Seminar Room, Faculty of Law Building, Sandy Bay Campus

RSVP / Contact Information



The Institute for the Study of Social Change and the School of Social Sciences present

F R I D A Y   S E M I N A R   S E R I E S

Fossil Fuel Divestment and Universities: Can They, Should They?

Professor Benjamin J. Richardson, University of Tasmania

A global campaign against investment in fossil fuel industries is attracting a diverse entourage, including university students and staff. The movement is coagulating around anti-fossil fuel networks, such as Go Fossil Free,, as well as various local activist hubs such as Fossil Free ANU. Frustrated by government prevarication, the campaign avows to curb carbon emissions by pressuring investors to shun fossil fuel industries such as coal mining in the hope that they adopt more environmentally benign practices or go out of business.

The divestment movement has many opponents, including some university endowment fund trustees, who believe that divesting is financially irresponsible, ineffective in leveraging positive change, or unlawful. This seminar assesses these rival claims, especially the legal issues, and considers whether divestment should be pursued.

Professor Richardson is a leading world authority on this subject, and author of books such as Socially Responsible Investment Law (Oxford UP, 2008) and Fiduciary Law and Responsible Investing (Routledge, 2013).

All welcome. Please email if you require more information or directions to the venue.