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
Divest Bangor University From Fossil FuelsOur institution can and must help avert a climate crisis.10 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Spike Lewis
Divest NUI Galway From Fossil FuelsCurrently, NUI Galway has at least 3.4 million Euro invested in oil and gas shares globally. Though shares in these fossil fuel companies may prove to be profitable in the short-term, research indicates that at least 80% of fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground in order to prevent catastrophic changes to our climate. Therefore, it is the responsibility of public institutions to disengage in partnerships and support of fossil fuel companies in favor of more sustainable and ethical investments that will promote the health and welfare of both the planet, and all of her peoples.1,062 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Colm Duffy
Divest Imperial from Fossil FuelsClimate change has been described as the most serious challenge of our generation. Under the United Nations Copenhagen Accord, countries have agreed to limit warming to 2 degrees to prevent dangerous climate change. Moreover, investing in fossil fuels poses a serious financial risk. According to recent research led by Professor Lord Stern at LSE, two-thirds of current fossil fuels reserves are unburnable if climate change is to be kept to the globally-agreed limit of 2 degrees of warming . In this regard, we call upon the Endowment Fund Board to issue explicit guidance to ensure the funds are divested away from fossil fuels, for the sake of current and future generations. References:  FOI Request  People & Planet, Platform, 350.org: http://peopleandplanet.org/dl/fossil-free/knowledge-power-report.pdf  Carbon Tracker Initiative Report (Carbon Tracker & The Grantham Research Institute, LSE) : http://www.carbontracker.org/wastedcapital1,357 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Tara Clarke
Make Cardiff University Divest From Fossil Fuels!From a Freedom of Information request, we learned that Cardiff University currently invests around two million pounds of its total endowment funds in the Fossil Fuel industry (Shell, BG Group, BHP Billiton etc). Divesting from this industry will withdraw moral support from the Fossil Fuel industry and show Cardiff University's support for a more sustainable future. Cardiff University has already divested from the Arms and Tobacco industry, and it has a number of world leading researchers working in sustainability. The Fossil Fuel industry has a disproportionate influence on government policy and independent institutions like universities through lobbying and funding. As Climate Change has been verified by 97% of climate scientists, (according to a recent IPCC report) it is essential to begin cutting political and economic ties with this industry, so that the democratic process has a chance to avert the catastrophe which we are heading towards. We are not powerless in the struggle to protect our planet from uncontrollable climate chaos, and we can use divestment as a way to send a strong political message through our institutions- including Cardiff University.1,209 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Jack Pickering
SUSSEX UNIVERSITY DIVESTMENT CAMPAIGNAccording 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.2,023 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Rachel Mohun
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.pdf1,432 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Garoe Dorta Perez
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.pdf2,343 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Zero Carbon Cambridge
Divest Lancaster University from Unethical InvestmentUK universities support the fossil fuel industry directly through investments in companies such as BP and Shell. Lancaster University's involvement within this industry is incompatible with their image as a green university, actively promoting renewable energy and sustainability. Around 14% of the university's current investments are in fossil fuels and nearly 4% of investments are in the arms trade. These investments are incompatible with the view of Lancaster as an ethical and environmentally friendly university, and we believe an increased awareness and lobbying by students will encourage the university management to adopt an ethical investment policy. Link to our most up to date information on the University's investments: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/university_investments_2?nocache=incoming-575353#incoming-575353 Link to the research we have conducted into these companies: http://lancasterethicalinvestment.tumblr.com/1,338 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Orla McKeon-Carter
Divest York from Fossil FuelsThe University is manifestly failing in their commitment not to 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.98 of 100 SignaturesCreated by YUSU Environment
University of Portsmouth: Divest from the Fossil Fuel IndustryThe fossil fuel industry is driving the world towards a climate crisis. The science is clear, if we are to avoid catastrophic changes to our planet’s climate, threatening ecosystems and the lives of billions of people, we must drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and transfer to cleaner energy systems. And we must do it quickly. The fossil fuel industry is actively blocking efforts to achieve this transition. It is wielding its unparalleled political influence to ensure global carbon emissions continue to rise, and reaping exorbitant profits at the cost of all our futures. This cannot be allowed to continue. It is incumbent upon all people of conscience now to take a stand against those individuals and institutions that would enrich themselves at humanity’s expense. The first step in doing that is to declare that you won’t be one of them. The University of Portsmouth should not attempt to profit from this morally bankrupt industry, and should join the growing international movement to withdraw its social license to operate.38 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Green Society