Australian energy incumbency tries to ban divestment campaigning.

Guardian: “The powerful mining lobby is considering whether to join the push by resource industries to ban environmental boycott campaigns as it battles an escalating grassroots movement calling for banks, superannuation funds and institutions to ditch fossil fuel investments.”
“The Minerals Council of Australia, which this week began its own“Australians for Coal” social media and lobbying campaign to argue the benefits of continued coalmining, has previously attacked “green extremists” who “have moved … from genuine protest to dangerous and unlawful civil disobedience”, saying the “extremists” would be facing the full force of the law if they were not exempted from the ban on so-called secondary boycotts under competition laws.
The mining industry has also begun lobbying investor and superannuation funds to provide information to counter the push by organisations including for them to divest from fossil fuel companies. The higher education superfund Unisuper – which has $40bn in funds under management – has announced it will exclude fossil fuel from its “socially responsible” investment options.
A spokesman for the Minerals Council said the organisation was examining an issues paper from the government’s review of competition law to decide whether it would make a submission, and whether it would argue the divestment campaign could also be considered a secondary boycott.
Other resource industries, including the forestry and resource groups, are arguing that environmental groups should no longer be exempt from Australia’s competition law ban on so-called “secondary boycotts” – actions that try to stop a third person buying goods from another. And it also supports the argument that more safeguards are needed to ensure the “truthfulness” of information supplied during activist campaigns.
In an article for the Guardian, the nobel laureate Desmond Tutu called for an apartheid-style boycott of fossil fuel investments. The group is leading a worldwide grassroots campaign to push public institutions, super funds, inidivudals and banks to move money away from fossil fuels.
It lists nine US colleges and universities, more than 20 US cities, 26 churches including the Uniting Church of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory and many foundations that have pledged to divest.
….The Guardian has reported Oxford University research that found the fossil fuel divestment campaign that began 18 months ago in the US hasgrown faster than campaigns that targeted apartheid, tobacco and arms manufacturers.
The research has shown that past divestment campaigns succeeded by stigmatising their targets and exerting financial pressure.
In Britain campaigners are targeting the £5bn of fossil fuels stocks owned by universities. The UK’s most senior doctors have also called for urgent divestment.
The MCA’s Australians for Coal includes TV ads and a social media campaign, which has attracted a backlash on Twitter.