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 email@example.com or 01865 264180
Get started, click "New Campaign" below:
New Campaign Campaigns
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY, DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELSFossil fuel companies’ current reserves of oil, coal and gas hold 5 times more carbon than the world’s atmosphere can safely handle. Their business plan will cause climate chaos for billions of us, yet UK universities still collectively invest £5.2 billion in fossil fuel companies (1). The University of Cambridge and Colleges have an overall endowment that equates to almost £5 billion (Ibid.). Without an ethical policy (unlike universities such as Oxford, UCL and St. Andrews), this money is invested in companies without consideration of their catastrophic environmental impact. At a global and local level, the impacts of these investments contradict the University’s positive contributions to society, through research and education. Over the past two years the global divestment movement has shown the very real path to a sustainable, fossil-free future. Regarding fossil fuels, the divestment campaign is the fastest growing climate justice campaign in history. So far, $2.6 trillion has been divested from fossil fuels by 456 institutions (Ibid.). It 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 (Ibid.). For this to happen, study after study has demonstrated that 80% of currently known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground (Ibid.). 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 – Cambridge needs to catch up. In the University’s “Dear World...” Campaign, it has positioned itself as the driving force for a better future. If it wants anyone to respect that, it needs to demonstrate moral leadership and distance itself from the fossil fuel industry. Fortunately, the working group on investment recently set up by the University presents the perfect opportunity, just a month before the historic climate summit in Paris. All moral and financial arguments point to the same thing – divestment from fossil fuels. References: (1) People and Planet (2013). Knowledge and Power: Fossil Free Universities Report. https://peopleandplanet.org/dl/fossil-free/knowledge-power-report.pdf2,392 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Zero Carbon Cambridge
Divest money from fossil fuels Loughborough University!Loughborough's endowment fund (http://alumni.lboro.ac.uk/page.aspx?pid=1062), with one part funded by alumni to benefit generation upon generation of students through the interest the fund earns, should not do so at the expense of our planet. If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. Too many UK universities support the fossil fuel industry directly through their research, their endowments and investments and their partnerships with some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world like BP and Shell. UK students have decided to take on the fossil fuel industry by getting our universities to go Fossil Free. People & Planet is joining forces with the 350.org campaign that has been sweeping across North American campuses. 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 would accept funding from or invest their funds in tobacco companies these days - it’s inconsistent with their research on cancer. The same holds true for fossil fuel companies causing climate change and yet most universities still do not recognise this. That’s about to change! 200 publicly-traded companies hold the vast majority of the world’s proven coal, oil and gas reserves. Those are the companies we’ll be asking our institutions to break their links with. Together they hold five times more carbon in their fossil fuel reserves than we can safely afford to burn to stop runaway climate change. It’s that simple…if you do the maths. From Canada’s dirty tar sands to Arctic drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) for shale gas - the fossil fuel industry is scraping the bottom of the barrel and causing huge environmental and human devastation in the process. Withdrawing our institutions’ financial and moral backing for this climate-wrecking industry is crucial to tackling climate change.1,003 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by LSU Ethics and 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.437 of 500 SignaturesCreated by Simon Barton
Divest York from Fossil FuelsThe University is manifestly failing in their 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 £656,256 of their funds invested in Fossil Fuels. 61 Universities have already pledged their commitment to divest from Fossil Fuels, including our rivals York St. John and Lancaster University. It's about time the University of York did the same.723 of 800 SignaturesCreated by YUSU Environment
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.96 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Zoe MacKenzie
SUSSEX UNIVERSITY DIVESTMENT CAMPAIGN - WE WONAccording to the most recent projections, the world is headed on a course to global warming of 4 degrees by the end of this century if we carry on emitting CO2 at current rates.  It is clear that fossil fuels are not the way forward, and that we must end our addiction to carbon and find sustainable energy alternatives before it is too late. Despite this, our governments and institutions continue to invest vast sums in companies extracting oil and gas, giving them huge public subsidies that have helped to make them some of the most profitable companies in the world. The University of Sussex is renowned as a progressive institution, and we believe that the University should lead by example and join dozens of other universities, religious institutions and local governments across the world that have already committed to investing its money ethically, and going fossil free. Collectively, we have the opportunity to send an important signal to our governments and the private sector about the urgent moral and financial imperative of phasing out fossil fuels.2,050 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Rachel Mohun
Divest The University Of Nottingham From Fossil FuelsThe University of Nottingham’s (UoN) investment policy states that investment in companies which demonstrate ‘’explicit environmental damage’’ will not take place . Yet, the fossil fuel companies Royal Dutch Shell, BP, BHP Billiton, Total and Centrica make up 11.08% of UoN’s portfolio and the total market value of the University’s investment in fossil fuels is £3,952,351 as of 31 July 2014. Investing in fossil fuel companies is not achieving the university’s aim “to act in an environmentally responsible way.’’  BP as an example have shut down its solar business  and invested only 2% of profits into alternative energy between 2005 and 2015 . It has not made new targets for alternative energy investments. Shockingly, BP were responsible for the 11 deaths and 4.9 million barrels of oil leaked in the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem.  Fossil Fuel exploration is needless. There is more proven oil and gas reserves than can be safely burnt without exceeding a global average temperature rise of 2 degrees, the widely regarded dangerous threshold. Burning fossil fuels contributes directly to climate change , leading to water scarcity [7, UoN research] as well as increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Arctic Ice thickness has also decreased 40 percent since the 1960s, endangering arctic wildlife. By divesting in fossil fuels, the university will help prevent the numerous effects of climate change, increase its reputation as a leading ‘Green University’ and make us as students feel proud that our education doesn’t come at an environmental cost. UoN did well in the People and Planets comprehensive sustainable university league table and ranked 42nd. A move to more ethical investments would improve the universities ranking. The University of Glasgow received recognition  for their pledge of divestment from fossil fuels. A similar pledge will, set a positive example for the hundreds of divestment campaigns across the world cementing UoN as a leading global university.  https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/governance/documents/investment-policy.pdf  http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/about/documents/environmentalstrategy200910.pdf  http://www.bp.com/en/global/alternative-energy/our-businesses/solar-power.html  http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/sustainability/group-reports/BP_Sustainability_Review_2013.pdf  www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13123036  https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr_spm.pdf  http://nottingham.ac.uk/globalfoodsecurity/strands/climatechangeandenvironmentalimpact/index.aspx  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/08/glasgow-becomes-first-university-in-europe-to-divest-from-fossil-fuels1,009 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Peter Mullard
Divest the University of Bath from the Fossil Fuel IndustryThe world has committed to keeping global warming below 2 degrees. To achieve this, over 80% of the proven fossil fuel reserves will have to stay in the ground (1) - we simply cannot afford to continue to invest in this industry. However, the arguments against fossil fuel investments are not just environmental. Economically, it is clearly unsustainable to rely on non-renewable resources. The price of oil is already volatile and is a significant source of financial risk (2) whereas, in contrast, low-carbon investments are becoming increasingly profitable (3). Divestment is a proven, powerful tool for people to collaborate and directly effect large scale change. It was, for example, a key strategy in the ending of South African apartheid and the stigmatisation of the tobacco industry, and will be a key player in the global transition to sustainable energy sources. The University of Bath has fossil fuel holdings totalling half a million pounds including over £100,000 in Shell alone (4). Our call is for the university to divest these holdings and publicly commit to never investing in them again. The activities of these companies are completely incompatible with the university’s own mission (5) and is at odds with much of the work on campus, from the research at the CSCT (6) and the IPR (7) to the discussions at the I-SEE (8). The campaign here at Bath is part of the wider Fossil Free movement – an accumulation of grassroots campaigns at a diverse range of respected institutions around the world, from Le Louvre museum in Paris to the University of Cambridge here in the UK. A quarter of universities in the UK have already committed to divesting, and Bath should be proud to join their ranks. Many of these forward-thinking universities had far more invested (9), so what we are demanding is not out of reach. The wider statement that the University of Bath will make when it divests will be significant and will extend far beyond the removal of the raw finances. In divesting from fossil fuels, the University will be: - Showing solidarity with communities already bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change, most of whom have contributed little to the problem; - Helping to reclaim our democracy from the power of fossil fuel lobbying groups (10); - Contributing to the stigmatisation of the fossil fuel industry: “the most far-reaching threat to fossil fuel companies” (11); - Influencing public discourse on climate change: leading the way for other UK universities and policy makers, too. It is time for the University of Bath to realise how incompatible a safe climate future is with these fossil fuel relationships, and to take meaningful action to go fossil free. This petition for a Fossil Free Bath complements Bath SU policy (12) voted through by 60% of students in early 2016. References (1) http://math.350.org/ (2) https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/03/bank-of-england-warns-of-financial-risk-from-fossil-fuel-investments (3) https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/feb/13/renewable-energy-investment-fossil-fuel-divestment-investor-summit-climate-change (4) FOI (5) http://www.bath.ac.uk/about/values/ethics/code-of-ethics.html (6) http://www.bath.ac.uk/csct/research/energy-water.html (7) http://www.bath.ac.uk/ipr/policy-briefs/reports/climate-change.html (8) http://www.bath.ac.uk/i-see/ (9) https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/08/glasgow-becomes-first-university-in-europe-to-divest-from-fossil-fuels (10) http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-industry-influence-in-the-u-s/ (11) http://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/research-programmes/stranded-assets/SAP-divestment-report-final.pdf (12) https://www.bathstudent.com/pageassets/policy-governance/2015-16-4-Fossil-Free-Bath.pdf1,549 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Garoe Dorta Perez
Fossil Free Southampton UniversityIf it’s wrong to wreck the climate, then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage, right? As emphasized in recent reports from the IPCC, international efforts must be significantly enhanced in order to remain below a 2°C limit of global warming, with risks of abrupt or irreversible climate consequences increasing with the magnitude of warming. Without dramatic reductions in carbon emissions the rate of climate change will have numerous detrimental effects. Environmental effects include sea level rise, more severe and prolonged droughts and floods, increase in number and intensity of hurricanes and storms, loss of biodiversity, decrease in fresh water availability and many more. These also have huge social and economic consequences with developing countries that are least responsible for these effects being most vulnerable and least capable of managing and adapting to the effects. Ultimately climate change will impact us all, therefore, it is clear that climate change mitigation must become a priority and we cannot allow the fossil fuel companies to continue with business as usual. The vast majority of fossil fuel reserves need to remain in the ground and this message must be reinforced! UK universities are deeply entangled in the fossil fuel industry. They currently invest up to £5.2 billion in the industry depending on the university, with money from their pension funds and endowments. Not only are universities financially supporting the fossil fuel industry, they are giving it a social licence. Universities are meant to be a bastion of forward thinking and life changing research in our society. Therefore, to invest in fossil fuels goes completely against this in every way. It is not just financial investments; too many UK universities also support the fossil fuel industry directly through their research and their partnerships with some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world like Shell and BP.247 of 300 SignaturesCreated by Tom Hicks
Lets Make Sure Plymouth Uni NEVER invest in Fossil FuelsAt the People and Planet society here at Plymouth University, we believe that our educational institution should be consistent throughout their policies. At the moment, there is no policy in place which stops our University investing in Fossil Fuels. We want this to change. Even though there are no investments at the moment, doesn't mean they won't in the future, and as the top of People and Planet's Green League Table 2015, we don't want them too. Plymouth University has since dropped to 12th place. As students we are investing our time and money into our education, so why shouldn't our institute of learning promise never to invest in Fossil Fuels, and invest in our future instead?577 of 600 SignaturesCreated by Paisley Turner