"IF it's wrong to wreck the planet, it's also wrong to profit from wrecking the planet".
That was the moral basis underpinning the Divestment from Fossil Fuels campaign that was discussed at a meeting in Cooma on Saturday.
The guest speaker Josh Creaser from 350.org described how the campaign is progressing and the reasons behind it.
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) points out in the second part of its ground-breaking Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) released this week, Australia is facing significant impacts from climate change and radical action is required to minimise these impacts.
The first part of AR5 had said humans were 95 per cent to blame, and the main reason was the burning of fossil fuels. Thus there is an urgent need to shift away from coal, oil and gas.
Creaser pointed out that over half of all global investment goes to fossil fuel-related businesses and a mere two per cent to renewables.
Yet, if a five per cent more of global investment could be shifted to renewables, that would generate $3 trillion, enough to give the renewable industry what it needs for research and development and wider implementation of existing technology.
Creaser described how the world has a 'carbon budget' if it is to have an 80 per cent chance of keeping within the internationally agreed limit of 2oC warming.
That is, we can't emit more than 565 more gigatons of carbon before 2050, yet the reserves of all known fossil fuels are five times that much.
Thus, if we are to keep to this carbon budget, four fifths of these reserves will have to stay in the ground.
It is clear that big fossil fuel corporations will have to forgo enormous profits if the international community decides - as it might at the end of 2015 in Paris - that the burning of coal, oil and gas is to be phased out.
Already, major organisations such as the World Bank have shown the way by divesting from fossil fuel production.
Major church groups have followed including, in 2012, the Uniting Church in NSW and the ACT.
- Climate Action Monaro