Fossil Free Melbourne University

Did you know that Melbourne University is investing in fossil fuels? By continuing to support this reckless industry, the University is profiting at the expense of its students and their futures.

It’s time for Melbourne University to show its true commitment to sustainability, and join the world movement towards a prosperous low-carbon economy. 

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Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis Gets Schooled by Students



Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis Gets Schooled by Students

This morning a group of University of Melbourne students attempted to deliver a letter to Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis asking him to “resubmit or fail” his “assignment” on the University’s exposure to fossil fuel investment.

This comes in response to the Vice-Chancellor’s recent announcement that the University would continue to invest in fossil fuels, despite calls by students and staff to make the commitment to divest by June 30 this year.

 The students, dressed as professors, gathered outside the building that houses Glyn Davis’ office. While a number of students attempted to enter the building to personally deliver the letter to Glyn and request a meeting, the remaining students stood outside chanting loudly to be allowed entrance to the building.

Security personnel refused entry to the students, who eventually capitulated, allowing the letter to be delivered via the security concierge.

 “Considering the IPCC’s most recent findings regarding the gravity of climate change risk, their refusal to divest, combined with their unwillingness to meet with us this morning, all suggest that the University does not take their responsibility for the future of their students seriously” lead campaigner Vicky Fysh commented.

 Melbourne University professor and IPCC author David Karoly was quick to point out inconsistencies in Davis's statement.

"Universities present themselves as leaders in sustainability through research, innovation and campus sustainability initiatives, yet continuing to invest in fossil fuels shows they are more than happy to talk the talk but they also need to walk the walk."

 "Mr Davis writes as though shedding fossil fuel investments is risky," said Miss Fysh. "It's a common misunderstanding, but the research shows the risk is all on the other side."

 Recent modelling done by Investment Management Firm Aperio Group suggests that screening out fossil fuel extraction and downstream industries from Australian investment portfolios would have negligible impact on returns. At the same time, think tank Carbon Tracker are warning of stranded fossil fuel assets and a carbon bubble, should investors like the University of Melbourne continue to invest unabated in fossil fuel reserves that are unlikely to be burnt in a carbon-averse world.

 “We are urging the University to enter into further discussions with us about this issue. There is a still a chance for the University to reconsider its decision and show themselves to be genuine leaders in sustainability” concluded lead campaigner Vicky Fysh.


To see the Aperio Group modelling, see this report.


Fossil Free Melbourne University acknowledge that as an organisation we meet and work on the land of the Wurundjeri in the Kulin nations. We pay respect to their Elders past and present, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community.