Activist groups campaign against Australian supers’ fossil fuel holdings

first_imgTwo activist groups are upping the ante in their campaigns to force Australia’s largest super funds to totally divest from fossil fuels and other stocks whose activities they say are contributing to climate change.The two groups, Healthy Futures and Market Forces, have been conducting online campaigns to gather support from super fund members.Market Forces, which keeps tab on super funds and their fossil fuel investment, last week focussed on UniSuper, a A$85bn (€50.3bn) scheme with 450,000 members working in the higher education and research sector.Healthy Futures has its sights on six super funds, including AustralianSuper, HESTA, First State Super, QSuper, SA Super, GESB, the West Australian public sector super fund, and TasPlan, a small Tasmanian fund.Collectively, these super funds manage close to A$450bn.Market Forces was able to mobilise 10,000 UniSuper members to sign an open letter published in the Australian Financial Review last week. The letter called on the UniSuper board to divest from all companies that are actively undermining climate change action.“Specifically we demand the fund divest from the companies that are expanding the scale of the fossil fuel sector; and/or relying on scenarios incompatible with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement to justify their future business prospects,” the letter said.“We expect this action to be taken across the entire fund by the end of the financial year ending 30 June, 2020.” The letter added that, as the default superannuation fund for Australia’s academics, scientists, researchers and university employees, UniSuper should be leading investor action on climate change.“Instead, billions of dollars of members’ retirement savings are invested in companies whose operations and plans are completely incompatible with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement,” it said.When approached by IPE, UniSuper declined to comment.In a parallel campaign co-ordinated by Healthy Futures, more than 400 doctors and other health professionals have publicly called on HESTA to sell down shares in 19 fossil fuel producers.The activist group met with HESTA executives at its certified carbon emission-free head office in Melbourne last week to stress its points.It has stepped up its campaign in the wake of Australia’s recent bushfires, which aside from huge economic and financial losses, has caused health issues for many. Market Forces was able to mobilise 10,000 UniSuper members to sign an open letterSince 2015, a group of well-known medical professionals, students and other community workers has lobbied HESTA to pull out of companies with primary businesses in fossil fuel extraction, transportation or power generation.In an open letter to HESTA, Healthy Futures said it was “unconscionable” for the fund to continue to invest in fossil fuel companies, pointing to the health effects of air pollution, coal combustion and fracking for unconventional gas.“All fossil fuels, when burned, contribute to climate change, which has been identified as the greatest global health threat of our time,” the letter said.Sonya Sawtel-Rickson, HESTA CIO, told IPE: “Our best chance at managing the long-term financial risk of climate change is by using our influence to drive companies to better understand, manage and reduce their carbon emissions.“We believe that if all we do is simply sell these companies, it is very unlikely to change their behaviour and drive long-term climate action. Using the leverage ownership is more effective than divestment at achieving climate action and the transition to a low carbon future.”“We believe that if all we do is simply sell these companies, it is very unlikely to change their behaviour and drive long-term climate action”Sonya Sawtel-Rickson, HESTA CIOSawtel-Rickson said active ownership was producing significant results. For example, by co-operating with other investors, HESTA had successfully pushed for companies like BP to set emission-reduction targets and link these to executive pay.BP last month announced that it would aim to be net carbon neutral by 2050.“Divestment would mean we have no influence to encourage climate action, and would limit our ability to protect members’ investments,” Sawtel-Rickson added.HESTA is an active member of Climate Action 100+ global investor collaboration that engages with the world’s biggest emitters. In the Australian context, mining giants such as Rio Tinto and Glencore have signalled that they have taken significant steps regarding transition planning.Other initiatives by HESTA include seeking to explicitly link the pay of top executives of oil and gas companies to their performance on reducing carbon emissions.Along with other like-minded super funds, it has discussions with companies such as Woodside and Santos, urging them to follow the lead of international energy giants BP and Shell in directly tying executive remuneration to emission reductions.last_img read more

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John P. Neff

first_imgJohn F. Neff, 79, of Aurora, Indiana, passed away December 2, 2017 in Dillsboro, Indiana.He was born April 20, 1938 in Aurora, IN, son of the late Frank Neff and Dorothy (Bennett) Neff. John was born and raised in Aurora in the family home, where he lived until he moved to Ross Manor in Dillsboro. At Ross Manor he received great care, and made many friends. He worked at Seagram’s Distillery, retiring after over 33 years. Prior to that, John worked various jobs throughout his life, such as, at his father’s shoe store “Neff’s Shoe Store, and did many home improvement jobs, like painting houses and other repairs.He was a member of Moores Hill Church of Christ. John loved to hunt and fish. He was an animal lover. He also loved to joke and pull pranks on anyone that he could, just like his dad. John loved to spend time with his family, especially with his grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by family and friends.Surviving are his wife, Roberta “Bert” Neff of Aurora, IN; siblings, Jane (Gene) Fahey, Danny (Janice) Neff, and David (Judy) Neff; children, Sheila Maybrier, Danny (Michelle) Seaver, Paul Fix, Lisa Neff, Kevin Fix, Johnny (Anita) Neff, Teresa (Bob) Sharp, Tony Neff, and Bridget Neff.He was preceded in death by Father, Frank Neff, Mother, Dorothy (Bennett) Neff, and children, Butch Seaver and Mike Fix.Friends will be received Thursday, December 7, 2017, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm at the Rullman Hunger Funeral Home, 219 Mechanic Street, Aurora, Indiana.Services will be held at the Funeral Home, Thursday at 2:30 pm, following visitation, with Pastor Tito Pel, officiating.Interment will follow in the River View Cemetery, Aurora, Indiana. Contributions may be made to PAWS. If unable to attend services, please call the funeral home office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Visit: www.rullmans.comlast_img read more

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Franklin County location selected for Duke Energy ‘Site Readiness Program’

first_imgSt. Leon, In. — Duke Energy has selected six Indiana locations to participate in the company’s 2018 Site Readiness Program, including one in Franklin County. Proposed developments are set to be released later this year.The locations include:An 80-acre site along State Road 1 near the Interstate 74 interchange at St. Leon (Franklin County)A 66-acre site near Creek Way and 106th Street in Zionsville (Boone County)A 175-acre site in the River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville (Clark County)A 200-acre site at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport in Fishers (Hamilton County)A 143-acre site along East County Road 400 South near the interchange of State Road 3 and Interstate 70 (Henry County)A 500-acre site inside the Vermillion Rise Mega Park (Vermillion County)The Site Readiness Program identifies, evaluates and improves sites in the company’s service territory for potential industrial development.“Duke Energy is honored to select these communities for participation in the 2018 Site Readiness Program,” said Erin Schneider, director of economic development for Duke Energy Indiana. “We are eager to contribute resources to help promote economic development, jobs and quality of life for these regions.”A national site consulting firm will evaluate five of the six sites, while Banning Engineering will produce conceptual drawings and site plans.The Franklin County site will participate in a first-time Site Readiness Light Program, which includes the same treatment as the other five sites, but without the evaluation from McCallum Sweeney Consulting. This will then qualify the site to participate in the full Site Readiness Program as early as next year.Duke Energy will present its findings for each site – including a detailed report and conceptual drawings – to city and county officials when the studies are completed later this year. Economic development organizations in each location will also receive a check for $10,000 from Duke Energy to help implement the recommendations.After each site’s state of readiness has advanced, Duke Energy’s business development team will strategically market those sites nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.Ideal properties for Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program are typically 40 acres or larger, served by the utility, or a vacant industrial building of at least 20,000 square feet identified to support renewed industrial growth and sustainable development in a community.Duke Energy Indiana’s overall economic development program has been consistently named by Site Selection magazine as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Utility Economic Development Programs.” Since 2008, the company has participated in the creation of nearly 20,000 jobs with a total capital investment of approximately $4.5 billion.For more information about economic development efforts by Duke Energy click here.last_img read more

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Update on the latest sports

first_imgUpdate on the latest sports March 11, 2020 Zegarowski has started 30 of 31 games and is second on the team in scoring at 16.1 points per game. He’s third in the Big East in 3-point shooting at 42.4%. He was named to the All-Big East second team.MLB-NEWSYanks’ Britton hit by line drive, has bruised right wristUNDATED (AP) — New York Yankees reliever Zack Britton has a bruised right wrist after getting hit by a line drive during a simulated game Wednesday. The Yankees said X-rays and a CT scan were both negative.Britton was pitching in his second inning when he got hurt on the drive off the bat of Erik Kratz. The 32-year-old left-hander walked to shallow left field while holding his wrist. He kept his right arm still and appeared to be in pain while walking off the field with athletic trainer Gene Monahan. T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-CREIGHTON-ZEGAROWSKINo. 7 Creighton hoping Zegarowski ready for NCAA TournamentOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Creighton’s Marcus Zegarowski was scheduled to have knee surgery Wednesday and the Bluejays hope to have him available for the NCAA Tournament next week.Zegarowski injured the meniscus in his right knee late in the seventh-ranked Bluejays’ game against Seton Hall on Saturday. An MRI revealed the injury Monday.Creighton’s next game is Thursday against St. John’s or Georgetown in the Big East Tournament in New York. Shiffrin had announced earlier Wednesday that she would compete at the event after taking a six-week break from the sport following the death of her father. The American was last season’s overall champion and still had a chance to defend her title.NBA-NEWSUNDATED (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) says he initially feared the knee sprain that has caused him to miss his last two games might be a much more serious injury. But Bucks officials say he underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a minor joint capsule sprain of the left knee.The reigning NBA MVP took a hard fall late in a 113-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. Antetokounmpo said he practiced Wednesday but still isn’t sure whether he will play Thursday against the Boston Celtics.In other NBA news: Associated Press NHL-AVALANCHE-MACKINNON OUTMacKinnon sidelined at least a week with lower body injuryDENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche will be without top scorer Nathan MacKinnon for at least a week after he suffered a lower body injury.MacKinnon was hurt during the second period in Los Angeles against the Kings on Monday. It’s the latest blow to an injury-plagued Avalanche team that’s trying to catch St. Louis for the top seed in the Western Conference.The Avalanche are missing six other players. They will have defenseman Cale Makar back in the lineup when they face the New York Rangers on Wednesday night. Makar has been out the last five games with an upper body injury. He’s second among rookies with 47 points — Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons will miss at least three more weeks with nerve issues in his lower back. The 76ers say the All-Star will miss his eighth straight game when the Sixers play Detroit on Wednesday night. Simmons will continue to undergo daily treatment for his nerve impingement and that he is gradually increasing the activities in his strength and conditioning program. The timeline could have Simmons back just in time for the playoffs. The 23-year-old Simmons averaged 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 54 games.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-ACC-MIAMI-CLEMSONDawes leads Clemson past Miami 69-64 in ACC TournamentGREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Al-Amir Dawes scored 18 points, and eighth-seeded Clemson defeated ninth-seeded Miami 69-64 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.Aamir Simms added 14 points and 10 rebounds and John Newman had 11 points for Clemson, which finished 18 of 19 from the free throw line. Five-foot-7 Chris Lykes led Miami with 21 points off the bench including five 3s and DJ Vasiljevic added 17.center_img Jones started 113 games for the Dolphins and made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and 2017. He was their highest-paid player last year at $15 million.In other NFL news:— Marshal Yanda retired from the NFL on Wednesday with the satisfaction of knowing he walked away before being kicked out the door. Yanda played his entire 13-year career with the Baltimore Ravens, who showed their appreciation for the eight-time Pro Bowl guard by sending him off with a framed No. 73 jersey and heartfelt thanks during a news conference. The ceremony began with a video tribute and was highlighted by a lengthy prepared speech from the guest of honor, a man known for keeping his sentences short and for his aversion to talking to the media. Yanda said he “loved that every single day.” Up until that point, it had been a good day on the injury front for the Yankees. Giancarlo Stanton faced pitching for the first time since straining his right calf on Feb. 26 and hit an opposite-field homer to right off Britton. Stanton is expected to be sidelined until April.Left-hander James Paxton resumed a throwing program in his rehabilitation from Feb. 5 back surgery and said he felt great and had no pain. He made 25 throws at 60 feet. Paxton said his best-case scenario is for a mid-May return.In other MLB news:— St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will be out for several more games because of a sore right elbow. Goldschmidt’s throwing was limited by the Cardinals during the start of spring training, and he made his first two exhibition starts as a designated hitter. He has not played since Sunday. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said Wednesday he expected the 32-year-old Goldschmidt to miss a couple more games. The six-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner is hitting .300 with two homers in 20 spring training at-bats.— The Texas Rangers have placed left-hander Yohander Méndez on the suspended list for violating his contract by seeking unauthorized outside medical care. President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels announced the move Wednesday prior to a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants. Méndez has been held out of spring training game action with left shoulder inflammation. The 25-year-old Méndez appeared in just three big league games last year due to an elbow injury. He was expected to compete for a bullpen spot this spring. NFL-NEWS2-time Pro Bowler Reshad Jones to be released by DolphinsUNDATED (AP) — Two-time Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones is joining the free agent market after 10 seasons with the Miami Dolphins.The team has decided to release Jones next Wednesday, the first day of NFL free agency. The move had been expected because Jones battled injuries in recent seasons and played in just four games in 2019 for new coach Brian Flores.With Jones’ departure, six-year veteran reserve safety Walt Aikens leads the Dolphins in seniority. The move leaves Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe as the Dolphins’ first-team safeties, but they’re expected to be busy in free agency. San Francisco Mayor London Breed has banned all gatherings of 1,000 or more people for the next two weeks. Shortly after that announcement Wednesday, the Warriors announced they would go ahead with the game, but without fans at Chase Center. Four other events scheduled through March 21 at the building, which seats more than 18,000 people, have been postponed or canceled, including a Post Malone concert.In Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee has prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people in the Seattle area, which has experienced the most COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.The Mariners and Major League Baseball haven’t announced where they will play the team’s season-opening, four-game series against the Texas Rangers that had been scheduled for March 26-29. It was to be followed by three games against the Minnesota Twins from March 30 through April 1. The Mariners say they are working with the commissioner’s office on alternative plans.NCAA President Mark Emmert says NCAA Division I basketball tournament games will not be open to the general public because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus. Emmert says he made the decision to conduct both the men’s and women’s tournaments with only essential staff and limited family in attendance. The decision comes after the NCAA’s COVID-19 advisory panel recommended against playing sporting events open to the general public. The tournaments begin next week.Elsewhere, the Ivy League canceled all spring sports, as many of its schools told students not to return from spring break and prepare for classes to be taught online. The conference had already canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments; other conferences went ahead with theirs as college basketball awaits word on the status of the NCAA Tournament, one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar. NASCAR and IndyCar plan to race as scheduled this weekend, with IndyCar continuing to move ahead with its season-opening race through the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. The three-day downtown street festival draws about 130,000 people. There will be additional hand-washing and sanitizing stations.WORLD CUP-RACES CANCELEDWomen’s races canceled, Shiffrin denied chance to defend titleARE, Sweden (AP) — The last races of the women’s Alpine skiing World Cup season have been canceled because of public health concerns related to the spread of the coronavirus.The decision to call off the three-day event in Sweden hands Federica Brignone (feh-deh-REE’-kah breen-YOH’-nay) of Italy the overall title and denies Mikaela Shiffrin a return to racing this season. Brignone becomes the first Italian women’s overall champion in the 53-year history of the World Cup. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSMariners moving games, Warriors going fanlessUNDATED (AP) — The Golden State Warriors’ game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night will be played without fans in the arena, and the Mariners are moving their home games out of Seattle for the rest of March in an effort to slow the coronavirus outbreak.last_img read more

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U17 captain positive about World Cup chances

first_imgUnder-17 female football team captain, Rachel Walters, says with minor improvements, this national squad has the potential to qualify for the World Cup Finals in Jordan next year.The young Reggae Girlz beat Haiti 2-1 to lift the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Under-17 Women’s Championship in Haiti recently, and Walters, one ofthe team’s standout players at the tournament, says this group knows what is at stake and she wants to be the first captain to lead the country into a FIFA women’s championship.”I am very confident in this set of players. We know what is at stake and what we can do to make it to the World Cup,” she told The Gleaner upon the team’s arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday.”We need to improve both our defensive and attacking, but we have more overseas players coming in and I think the team will be better. Plus we will have more camps, and that will help with the chemistry, and when we have chemistry we play better,” Walters stated.The 17-year-old St Jago High School student who plays in defence said the team had to fight hard for success in Haiti and believes she played her role in motivating her team as captain.”I feel very elated; the team went out strong believing in ourselves and that we could do the job. The final was very competitive, but we got an early goal and we dug deep to come out victorious,” said Walters.”I thought I did a fairly good job as captain. I went out knowing what we had at stake and I had to stay focused and motivate my teammates and ensure that the job was done.”I really believe the team can reach the World Cup, and I would love to be the captain who does it,” she added.last_img read more

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Environmentally friendly funerals NB student says theyre within reach

first_imgSACKVILLE, N.B. – A New Brunswick university student researching environmentally conscious funerals says she hopes her research will help ease the discomfort some people feel when talking about death.Hanna Longard, a fifth-year student at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., is visiting cemeteries in eastern Canada and consulting with community members, funeral directors and other people within the so-called “death-care” industry in an effort to figure out how people can give back to the Earth even after death.“There is a fear that if you talk about death, it makes it real,” Longard said in a phone interview.“The fear comes from different places for different people. But as soon as I start having these conversations with people, they realize how many thoughts and questions they have on this topic.”It may seem like a morbid way to spend a summer vacation, but Longard said it’s important for people to know they have options when it comes to how they’re buried, aside from conventional Western practices, which often involve packaging and tidying up the body in ways that release toxic chemicals into the ground.She noted that cremation, sometimes viewed as an eco-friendly alternative, is hardly better.“People typically believe cremation can be environmentally friendly because you’re not taking up space in a cemetery plot on land,” she said. “But because of the emissions and toxins released, you actually are taking up space, but in the atmosphere instead.”She said people can make their burials greener by refraining from embalming, forgoing concrete or metal vaults and using only compostable materials, like a pine box or a linen shroud.Longard said it’s also important to be aware of where the burial materials are coming from: if you order a pine box that was made across the country, the energy it takes to transport it to your final resting place could cancel out any environmental benefits.As part of her research, Longard visited Duffin-Meadows Cemetery in Pickering, Ont., which she said is a great example of a green cemetery: it offers compostable caskets and communal monuments instead of individual grave markers.She also went to Sunrise Park Inter-Faith Cemetery in Halifax, N.S., and said that while the facility isn’t strictly green, it does offer green burial options and is considering how to expand them.Longard said the reasons for pursuing green death care are different for everyone.“There’s many different motivators for green death care, and some people are motivated exclusively by the statistics of the environmental impact of the conventional practices,” she said.“But for a lot of people, it does seem to have a more of a spiritual connection in that they are interested in a re-integration with the Earth, and that they feel that their body is part of the Earth.”Originally from Nova Scotia, Longard grew up in an environmentally-conscious household and said that she’s always had an interest in giving back to the earth.Yves Berthiaume, a funeral director in Hawkesbury, Ont. and the president of the Funeral Service Association of Canada, said most funeral homes have options for those interested in having an environmentally friendly funeral — the issue is that people don’t ask for them.“We’ve been in business for 125 years here in Hawkesbury, and we’ve never had a request for a green funeral,” Berthiaume said. “The demand isn’t there.”He said he’s confident the industry will be able to adapt if green funeral practices become more commonplace, but for now, he said his funeral home doesn’t advertise their green funeral options because of the lack of demand.“There is a cost for the funeral home to get ready to be able to serve the family with a green funeral,” he said, explaining that some homes carry more eco-friendly embalming fluids and other green products that may be more expensive.“So if the demand is not there for the funeral home, then it’s hard for them to have everything ready.”Berthiaume said the stigma surrounding topics like funerals and death is likely contributing to the lack of public knowledge about environmentally friendly death-care practices.But Erik Lees, a past president of the Green Burial Society of Canada, said it’s up to funeral directors to be more proactive in educating their clients on green funerals.“No one’s going to ask for it if they don’t know it’s available, or if it’s not promoted or explained by the funeral home,” he said.“The consumer needs to be educated, but the service providers also need to be educated.”Lees also said there seems to be a rising interest in the subject, and the society has received an influx of questions about green death-care practices over the past year or so.As for Longard, she said the goal of her research project is to get more people comfortable with talking about death.While there are many ways to make a burial more eco-friendly, she said people can take it in baby steps, saying that there’s “no one formula.”She added that even if your local funeral home doesn’t advertise it, they likely have options that people can explore.“At this point, you need to know what to ask for,” she said.last_img read more

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