Bill and Melinda Gates attend a debate on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in Brussels January 22, 2015.
IN PHOTO: Bill and Melinda Gates attend a debate on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in Brussels January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

In a recently concluded tax filing analysis initiated by the Guardian, it is discovered that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation owns at least US$1.4 billion ($1.82 billion) of stocks in fossil fuel giants such as Anadarko Petroleum, BP Global, and Vale—a reality that is a stark contrast of what Gates is campaigning against.

A campaign spearheaded by the Guardian is on the rise to call on Bill and Melinda Gates to divest their investments from fossil fuel companies. Guardian’s advocacy, which to date already gained more than 97,000 supporters, charges Gates’ investments in fossil fuel as morally and financially misguided as it adds risks to his organization’s great contribution to mankind’s progress in fighting off climate change. The signature campaign is disseminated by various organisations including 350 and CrossCut.

Gates couple’s charity foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is deemed as the world’s largest with more than $33 billion worth of grants. It has already issued $33 billion worth of grants to various health programs. Bill Gates is actively preaching investors and establishments to drop off fossil fuels from choice of investments due to their detrimental effects to the environment.

In 2010, BP Global’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and caused a hideous oil spill disaster in Gulf of Mexico. Anadarko Petroleum, too, was ordered in 2014 to indemnify the United States with $5bn for an environmental clean-up.

Australia is known for its rich fossil fuel resources. It owns the world’s 10 percent of black coal, 2 percent of [conventional] gas resources. Australia’s biggest energy resources are coal, uranium and natural gas. In an independent research conducted by Australia’s International Nuclear Information System, or INIS, on the environmental implications of offshore oil and gas development, the researchers concluded that uncontrolled discharge of petroleum products from offshore and gas exploration, production wells and related industrial operations can have direct and deleterious impacts on marine environment.

Despite similar or related findings from various researches, however, Tony Abbot remains to support the fossil fuel corporations.

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