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 Liverpool: Divest from Fossil FuelsThis is important because the University of Liverpool currently invests £12 million per year in the fossil fuel industry, which is 8% of their endowment. The time to reduce fossil fuel consumption is running out, and by not divesting, the University appears to be endorsing the actions of the fossil industry, and thereby failing to act on the issue of human-induced climate change. Climate change negatively affects the poorest most, and by not divesting from fossil fuels the University shows a callous disregard for the poorest populations and most vulnerable. The university is home to a leading institute for renewable energy research, yet they cannot actively be a world leader in green energy whilst funding the most polluting industry on earth. The students of this University clearly care about the environment and have created a movement within their Guild of Students to help implement a greener University (Green Guild). If this University wishes to abide by the active will of the student body, they will divest from this morally corrupt and ethically questionable industry without delay.170 of 200 SignaturesCreated by Joe Ferguson
Fossil Free Liverpool UniversityClimate Change is an issue which will disrupt our entire planet's weather and ecosystems if we allow it to happen. The effects on society will be drastic and chaotic leading to increased disease, famine, poverty, migration. We want our university be a bold leader in the fight against Climate Change and the transition to a sustainable and fairer society. The failure of the industry and global leaders over the past decades to enact meaningful change has forced the need for progressive action: divestment. The university is a leading researcher in areas of sustainable energy, environment, climate, health, food security and conflict. We want the university to have consistent values in its activities, that it will not endorse or profit from these highly unethical companies. The status quo isn't working and the transition to sustainability is inevitable so let us be bold, let us be positive, let us act on the right side of history and usher in a new better era. Divesting from these companies frees up capital to reinvest in our new technologies, industries and economies for a secure and sustainable future.279 of 300 SignaturesCreated by Fossil Free Liverpool University
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/openletter3,510 of 4,000 SignaturesCreated by Natasha Gorodnitski
Divest Ulster University from Fossil FuelsThe Students’ Union recently received a response to their freedom of information request Ulster University on their investment portfolio. We had inquired as to Ulster University’s direct investments through Innovation Ulster and those made indirectly through it’s Endowment Fund. It was found that the University invests its Endowment Fund through the Rathbones Active Income and Growth Fund. Without taking into consideration the fund’s direct investments, and bearing in mind that the total amount of money Rathbones are managing for the University is over £7 million, it has invested approximately £80,000 in fossil fuel companies such as Dutch Shell and BP. Furthermore, the University also have significant investments in the tobacco industry (Over £26,000) and most worryingly in the arms industry (£13,000). In this current climate we believe this money should be invested into student facilities and more sustainable alternatives.5 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Campaigns Officer
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.673 of 800 SignaturesCreated by Robin Ellis-Cockcroft
University of Reading to go Fossil Free #UoRFossilFreeRecently, charities and corporations alike have come under fire in relation to their investments in the top two hundred coal, oil and gas companies worldwide. It is our belief that the University of Reading, as an academic institution within the top 1% of universities in the world, needs to take a lead on divestment. It would allow the University of Reading to set a strong precedent for being ethical and sustainable when making investment choices. The current investment practices of the University are inconsistent with the institution's Environmental Policy, which states that it ‘takes environmental responsibilities seriously’ and commits to ‘achieving the highest standards of environmental performance, preventing pollution and minimising the impact of its operations’. If the University is committed to working towards increased sustainability in its activities then this approach should be reflected in its investments. This is why RUSU wants the University to take a sector lead on adopting a Socially Responsible Investments Policy. If you're interested in the campaign, please read our document 'Why the University of Reading needs to adopt a Socially Responsible Investments Policy' as well as checking out our Facebook page. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1EpAf9F0ADhclFWM3BwV2VpaFk/view - Why the University need to adopt a Socially Responsible Investments Policy. https://www.facebook.com/FossilizedFees Join our Facebook page!684 of 800 SignaturesCreated by Chloe Bartlett
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.1,088 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Colm Duffy
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.1,303 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Eva Nohe
Divest UWS From Fossil FuelsThe University of the West of Scotland has over £1 million worth of investments. Numerous companies that the University invests in, including Shell have been accused of human rights abuses. For more information about our campaign and to get involved, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362019827317758/ Further reading: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/08/glasgow-becomes-first-university-in-europe-to-divest-from-fossil-fuels107 of 200 SignaturesCreated by Kevin McKinley
Durham University: Divest from Fossil FuelsAt the moment Durham University has an investment policy that states that they won't invest in arms or tobacco companies. But no such policy against investing in fossil fuel companies exists. Carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels results in the heating of the atmosphere. A rise of more than 2˚C in global temperatures is enough to put the world beyond the acceptable limits as outlined by scientists. Fossil fuel companies already have proven reserves of five times the amount needed to take us past this limit. At the moment the share price of fossil fuel companies is based on the idea that all the reserves held by fossil fuel companies will be burnt. This situation is of course not viable given the severely detrimental impact it will have on the environment. This disparity between the safely useable reserves and the proven reserves results in fossil fuel companies being not as safe a long-term investment as they are held up to be. Given the massive amounts of damage fossil fuel companies do to the lives of people around the world, the obvious environmental costs of the industry and the long term instability of fossil fuels as an investment, Durham University People & Planet Society are calling on the university to divest any money it has invested in fossil fuel companies and to add fossil fuels to the list of things in which it will not invest in the future.465 of 500 SignaturesCreated by Durham University People and Planet Society