Newcastle, the home of coal, moves to divest from coal(?)


Our social and political elites have yet again shown how out of touch they are with the lives of ordinary Australians, and indeed, reality itself, in this latest push which sees Newcastle Council seek to divest itself from fossil fuel investments.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

“after the council passed a motion on Tuesday night, six votes to five, it will dump holdings in the banks for more ‘environmentally and socially responsible’ institutions when deposits come up for renewal.”

Whist the idea of fossil fuel divestment sounds good and ‘environmentally responsible’ in theory, it is little more than an exercise in moral posturing and ultimately, futility, as it removes investment from the very companies that are among the largest investors in alternative energy.

Newcastle was built on the steel and coal industries and has been1024px-CSIRO_ScienceImage_2560_Conveyor_Beltinstrumental in our nation’s development. The decision by Newcastle Council represents an undermining (no pun intended) of Newcastle’s identity and livelihood.

Minerals Council of Australia coal chief Greg Evans, was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald’s article as stating: “stock in trade of the divestment activists is to get public attention through empty symbolism.

“You would expect the City of Newcastle council had more pressing business, such as supporting local economic activity, rather than participating in such a pointless sham.”


No doubt coal will be replaced as an energy source over the coming decades, but in the meantime, it is a foundational energy source for the world, not least the world’s poorest people.

The hysteria of climate change, which has captivated our political classes, and has driven the push for fossil fuel divestment, provides a solution that whilst ‘feels good’, is worse than the problem.