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 protected] or 01865 264180
Get started, click "New Campaign" below:
New Campaign Campaigns
Responsible Investment for the University of EdinburghEdinburgh University has over £230 million worth of investments. The companies receiving some of this bountiful fund include 3 arms companies. A massive 16% of the University's endowment goes to fossil fuel companies, undermining the goals of the University's 'Climate Action Plan', which aims to reduce the university's carbon footprint by 29% by 2020. On top of all this, numerous companies that the University invests in, including Shell and Monsanto, have been accused of human rights abuses. With the 3rd largest endowment fund in the UK, and the largest in Scotland, the University of Edinburgh has the opportunity to lead the way on sustainability and social responsibility in finance. The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body whose mission it is, amongst others, to ‘make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK and the world’. We want this mission to be reflected in the university’s investment portfolio.1,201 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Felicity Monk
University of Surrey > Divest from Fossil FuelsHow much money does Surrey invest in the fossil fuel industry (Coal, Oil & Gas) ? ~£44 million - Total Uni Endowment ~£4 million - Invested directly in stocks and shares (subset of £89m long term investments). ~£156,000 - Invested directly in fossil fuel companies (subset of £4m). ~£176,000 - Invested indirectly in fossil fuel industry (subset of £4m). Our university and governments worldwide have committed to keeping global warming below 2 degrees. To have a chance of staying below 2 degrees we need to not emit more than 565 Gigatons CO2 globally. The fossil fuels industry has over 2790 Gigatons of proven reserves (5x more than we can safely burn). Reason for Divesting: 1. Financial Risks : - The University risks losing a large proportion of its investments as fossil fuel industry assets become stranded and worthless (between 60-80% of proven reservesmust stay underground in order to stay below 2°C global warming) - Renewable energy is a much safer (profitable) long term investment. 2. Environmental risks : - Reducing dependance on finite resources - Climate change is advancing faster than we can physically adapt (food safety, floods, droughts, and other extreme weather events). - We are enduring the direct consequences of climate change now and will be seeing much more within our lifetimes. - The sooner we reduce our carbon emissions, the more chances we will be able todeal with climate change risks. 3. Moral reasons : - If we already have 5x more coal, oil & gas reserve than we can burn, why invest in fossil fuels industry to find more reserves ? - Responsibility to future generations - The university should invest in progress not regression - If it's wrong to wreck the climate (planet we're dependant on) it's wrong to profit of that wreckage. - Student & local area could benefit from uni's investment rather than foreign companies & rich businesses. - It's hypocritical for universities to invest in fossil fuels and claim to care about student futures and be a 'green university' The University of Surrey was also described as having "awful performance" in People & Planet's Green League for getting the score of 1/10 in Carbon Reduction. Since 2005, the University has increased its greenhouse gas emissions by 8.8%. http://peopleandplanet.org/green-league-2013/tables?ggl13profile=10010&test=e5c8a2 http://peopleandplanet.org/dl/fossil-free/knowledge-power-report.pdf http://platformlondon.org/carbonweb/documents/DegreesofCapture.pdf http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719 http://gofossilfree.org/resources/ Carbon Tracker Report - http://www.carbontracker.org http://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/research/stranded-assets/index.html?content=publications http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/fossil-free-uk-universities http://www.ussu.co.uk/ClubsSocieties/societies/go-green-society/Pages/FOSSIL-FREE-UK.aspx http://www.ussu.co.uk/ClubsSocieties/societies/go-green-society/SiteAssets/Pages/FOSSIL-FREE-UK/Fossil%20Free%20horizontal%20transparent%20background.png1,037 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Emilie Tricarico
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.1,092 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Simon Barton
Fossil Free SheffieldAs said so effectively by 350.org - "It’s simple math: we can emit 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Burning the fossil fuel that corporations now have in their reserves would result in emitting 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide – five times the safe amount."2,439 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Camilla Zerr
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.html2,348 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Rachel Simon
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.772 of 800 SignaturesCreated by Chloe Bartlett
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.1,055 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Collective of environmentally conscious LSE students
Fossil Free UWEUK 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! 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.46 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Louise Hazan
University of Exeter Fossil Free CampaignJPMorgan Chase is one of the worlds largest investment banks and as such has its fingers in a great many pots. Unfortunately some of these pots come with some truly terrible baggage, from fossil fuels to animal testing JPMorgan invests in them all. This sadly includes being the US's largest share holders in PetroChina, a company which has been widely recognized and condemned for helping finance genocide in Sudan. That means in a single company your tuition fees have direct connections to both the worsening of Climate Change and a Genocide that stills claims more than 100 lives every day. For a University to profit from any of these causes is wrong beyond belief but to be involved in all of them and more is a complete catastrophe. By signing you are telling the University that this cannot continue and that you support the campaign for not just a Fossil Free Exeter but an Ethically Invested Exeter as well.696 of 800 SignaturesCreated by Robin Ellis-Cockcroft
Make UCLan Fossil FreeClimate change caused by greenhouse gases is one of the most serious threats to the future of the planet and we are already beginning to see its effects both globally and locally, with extreme weather events such as storms, droughts and flooding becoming more common. If we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate it will have devastating effects on our planet and communities. By divesting our university's money from fossil fuel companies we will be helping in the fight against climate change. Not only are fossil fuel companies harmful to the planet, they are also an unsound investment, with the value of many companies falling drastically. It would be better to remove our money sooner rather than later. UCLan has a reputation as a very green university, clearly its investments should reflect this. Several UK universities have already divested from fossil fuels, surely it's time to join them.92 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Robert Price