People & Planet
If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage.
UK universities support the fossil fuel industry directly - through the £5.2bn worth of their endowments invested in fossil fuel companies - and indirectly through their research and their partnerships with some of the biggest companies in the world, like BP and Shell.
Students have decided to take on the fossil fuel industry by getting our universities to go Fossil Free. People & Planet -- Britain's largest student activist network -- has joined forces with 350.org to bring the fossil fuel divestment campaign to UK institutions.
We believe that our educational institutions should serve the public good and live up to their promises to tackle climate change. No UK university in their right mind accepts funding from or invest their funds in tobacco companies these days -- it’s inconsistent with their research on cancer and health. Investing in the fossil fuel companies causing climate change is a bad investment, and yet most universities still do not recognise this. That’s about to change!
Creating a Fossil Free petition
To get your whole university (or other institution) talking about your campaign, create your own online petition. You’ll have full control over the wording and design of your petition. This petition allows you to share it easily on social media and build your contacts list - you can email the people who’ve signed to keep them updated about your campaign progress and events.
NB: Students! If you need advice in designing your campaign and petition text, contact People & Planet on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01865 264180
Get started, click "New Campaign" below:
New Campaign Campaigns
University of Aberdeen: Divest from Fossil FuelsThe future of Aberdeen graduates is currently threatened by climate change. Already we are suffering the effects of a 1°C rise in global average temperatures, and world leaders agree that the warming must be contained at a 2°C increase in order to avoid catastrophic global effects. UN climate chief Christina Figueres has called on investors to divest from fossil fuels, saying “The pensions, life insurances and nest eggs of billions of ordinary people depend on the long-term security and stability of institutional investment funds. Climate change increasingly poses one of the biggest long-term threats to those investments and the wealth of the global economy.” In order to avoid global temperatures rising further than a 2°C increase, as much as 80% of currently known fossil fuel reserves will have to be left in the ground - yet the value of fossil fuel assets is based on the extraction of all those reserves. When the world gets serious about climate change, these "carbon bubbles" will burst and the value of fossil fuel shares will plummet. This is why the university not only has a moral, but also a financial duty to withdraw its investments from the fossil fuel industry. We call on the University of Aberdeen to join other universities leading the way on this issue and protect the future of its students by divesting from the fossil fuel industry now.1,839 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Louise Henrard
Fossil Free DundeeIt is recognised across the world that global temperatures must remain no more than 2°C higher than in pre-industrial times if climate change is not to destroy our entire way of life. For this to happen, study after study has demonstrated that 80% of currently known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. This view is endorsed by mainstream elements of society, from Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, to the United Nations. Companies like BP and Shell – and the University’s investments in them—are not part of a sustainable future, no matter how they, or the University, might pretend otherwise. Small investments in renewables are far outweighed by the catastrophic impacts of continued oil extraction. In universities around this country and the world, divestment is denying these companies their moral acceptability –. All moral and financial arguments point to the same thing – divestment from fossil fuels.102 of 200 SignaturesCreated by Zoe MacKenzie
FULLY DIVEST LSE FROM FOSSIL FUELSTime and again it has been scientifically proven that climate change triggered by the increase of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is directly linked to human industrial activity that is powered by the burning of fossil fuels. To stabilise atmospheric CO2 concentrations and thereby minimise the hard to predict impacts of rising global temperatures, we need to take action right now. Therefore, we the students of LSE are asking the school to disclose its endowment fund investments. If the portfolio contains investments in fossil fuel focussed companies, we will work with the the school to shift its focus towards low carbon technology and clean energy companies. We must mitigate the anthropogenic effect by addressing where our institution is investing its money.952 of 1,000 SignaturesCreated by Collective of environmentally conscious LSE students
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL: DIVEST FROM THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRYInvestment in fossil fuel industries drives fossil fuel consumption and its negative environmental impacts. Burning coal, oil, and gas releases CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, both warming and polluting the planet. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if the status quo continues the planet could warm by almost 5oC by 2100 . This would have a catastrophic impact on human life. It would turn our planet into one not “similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted”, as James Hansen, a top climate scientist at NASA put it . The second reason is that investment in these companies gives implicit support to their activities. It is the moral duty of the University to withdraw its financial support for companies that actively contribute to global warming, the burden of which is being felt disproportionately by the world’s poorest countries, and which exacerbates global poverty. Divestment from fossil fuel firms will help remove fossil fuel companies’ social license to operate. The third reason is that investment in fossil fuel companies is illogical when set against the University’s environmental priorities. The Cabot Institute is committed to research surrounding the environment and climate change. Furthermore the university is pledging to become a net carbon neutral campus by 2030. It also has an annually reviewed environmental policy that states that, “protection of the environment is an integral part of good institutional practice” . Besides its dangers, there are strong financial arguments for divestment. As the BP oil spill illustrated, fossil fuel companies operate in risky contexts that can not only damage environments and communities, but also shareholder value. Fossil fuel companies are at the mercy of regulations aimed at preventing climate change. Recent research has shown that, if regulators are serious about preventing climate change, a third of global oil reserves, half of all gas reserves, and over 80% of coal reserves will have to remain unburned to limit global warming to 2ºC . This means fossil fuel firms would have to massively write down the value of assets on their balance sheets, leading to huge and sustained destruction in shareholder value. By divesting from fossil fuels, the University will join a long list of respected institutions already committed to going fossil free, including Stanford University, Glasgow University, Oxford CIty Council, the World Council of Churches, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The global divestment campaign is growing, and together we can make a statement about how we want our future to look. University of Bristol students and affiliates please provide student or university email addresses.  http://www.bristol.ac.uk/environment/bristol_european_green_capital_2015  http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf  http://benthamopen.com/openaccess.php?toascj/articles/V002/217TOASCJ.htm  http://www.bristol.ac.uk/environment/policy/env_policy.pdf  http://gofossilfree.org/uk/about-fossil-free/  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v517/n7533/full/nature14016.html2,342 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Rachel Simon
UCL, DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELSClimate change has already caused millions to lose their lives and livelihoods after only one degree of global average warming . ‘Business as usual’ scenarios see us facing up to six degrees of warming and hundreds of millions suffering. It’s time to take this problem on at its source: the fossil fuel companies. If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. UCL cannot continue to use its funds from students, alumni, trusts and grant-making bodies to fund fossil fuel companies through its portfolio of investments. UCL's academics show a strong consensus on the effects of climate change, taking it into account in their research and making constructive proposals for how we can respond to and overcome it as a society. UCL is giving money to further this positive research yet chooses to invest in the fossil fuel industry, the root cause of climate change. This shows massive disrespect to their own staff, to the future of their students, and to all those around the world suffering the effects of climate change but also from the human right violations carried out by fossil fuel companies. With 1/4 of UK universities now having divested, 16 of which in the last year, UCL is losing its chance to lead the way towards a more sustainable world, proving that management prioritises profit over the protection of the environment, the future generations and the voice of thousands of students and academic staff who support divestment. In the ultimatum letter we sent to management in November 2016 we received more than 100 signatures from academic staff who support divestment . How long will management keep disregarding the views of its student body and staff? One of the few counter-arguments management has presented is that they are scared divestment would negatively affect UCL's engineering department. However there is no evidence that by divesting UCL will risk its sponsorship from fossil fuel companies and jeopardise the ties the Engineering department have with them. All other universities who have divested still maintain links with the companies with no effect on their students future relations with these companies whatsoever. It is therefore high time we DEMOCRATISED our university and TAKE ACTION to prevent further planetary degradation. We as students, academics and above all citizens, have the power to change the world. References:  http://www.ucl.ac.uk/white-paper/mission  UCL Investment Portfolio, December 2012.  http://www.carbontracker.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/08/Unburnable-Carbon-Full1.pdf, p.13-14.  UCL Ethical Investment Policy, http://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/finance_docs/investment_policy.htm  DARA, Climate Vulnerability Number 2010 http://daraint.org/climate-vulnerability-monitor/climate-vulnerability-monitor-2010/  Open Letter to UCL Management http://fossilfreeucl.tumblr.com/openletter3,582 of 4,000 SignaturesCreated by Natasha Gorodnitski
FULL Fossil Fuel Divestment for the University of ReadingWe are in the midst of a climate crisis and holding investments in fossil fuel companies is immoral. The current investment practices of the University are in direct violation of their investments policy, which clearly states: “The University of Reading believes in socially responsible investment and responsible stewardship. It expects its investment managers to take account of social, environmental and ethical considerations in the selection, retention and realisation of investment.” The University is recognised for producing world-class research on climate change and takes active steps to improve sustainability on its campuses. However, full fossil fuel divestment should be at the forefront of any sustainability strategy, and the University cannot make claims to be sustainable without it. If Vice Chancellor Robert Van de Noort wishes to make the University of Reading the “greenest university”, then full divestment is a necessity.771 of 800 SignaturesCreated by Chloe Bartlett
Divest York from Fossil FuelsThe University is failing in this commitment to not knowingly invest in companies whose practices pose a risk of harm to individuals or groups. The combustion of fossil fuels is responsible for 87% of all human carbon dioxide emissions which drastically contributes to anthropogenic climate change which in turn kills approximately 600,000 people yearly. As of last calculations, the University of York has £217000 invested in Fossil Fuels, and with 68 Universities already having pledged their commitment to divest from Fossil Fuels -including our rivals York St. John, it's about time the University of York did the same. The University of Edinburgh has divested over £6.3 million from fossil fuels, surely York can divest £217000.1,304 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by YUSU Environment
Divest The Open University from fossil fuelsTo support the speediest conversion to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, encourage politicians to get serious themselves, and to be a consistent part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.828 of 1,000 SignaturesCreated by Simon Barton
Fossil Free LeicesterWe wish to see accountability from our higher education institution. We are not asking for the university to take radical action; only that it abides by its own policies. The university is explicitly breaking its own ethical investment policy regarding tobacco investments and environmental damage and is in an extremely grey area regarding its investment into arms policy. Sign this petition and have a say in where YOUR tuition fees are being invested.121 of 200 SignaturesCreated by Ellen Byrne
Divest Clare Hall from Fossil FuelsWe petition Clare Hall to divest because scientific evidence shows that catastrophic environmental breakdowns are imminent if drastic changes are not made very soon. Climate change is a matter of social justice and financial responsibility. Marginalized populations are already and will continue to be disproportionately affected by climate change. Divestment weakens fossil fuel companies’ social legitimacy and sends a message that ‘business-as-usual’ is unacceptable. We petition Clare Hall to recognize the social and financial value of divested portfolios. Fossil free funds have been shown to perform on par with or better than conventional investments. Managers experienced with ESG investing can help make this a feasible and financially responsible path. We support the proposal for divestment to also include targeted investing in businesses that promote sustainable environmental practices and better energy alternatives to fossil fuels. We also petition Clare Hall to divest because we believe that it would align with the College’s history of operating on progressive values, and its stated commitment to improving energy conservation and reducing our carbon footprint. Finally, we petition Clare Hall to divest because it represents an opportunity to join the 988 institutions already committed to divestment globally (combined worth $7.18 trillion), and to show leadership where our university has so far not done so. As more colleges consider taking similar action, we believe that Clare Hall can be a leading, influential voice in the local and international debate on divestment from fossil fuels, as one step in the broader challenge of addressing climate change. For sources and the full policy proposal document contact email@example.com of 200 SignaturesCreated by Clare Hall Fossil Free