To: Imperial College

Divest Imperial from Fossil Fuels

Divest Imperial from Fossil Fuels

We are writing to you as staff, students and alumni of Imperial College London, as we are concerned that the university endowment fund is investing heavily in fossil fuels. In 2016 Imperial College's direct investments in oil, coal and gas totalled over £5.4 million (the third largest of UK universities) out of a £126m million endowment fund [1]. Imperial has no responsible investment policy [2].

We call on Imperial to:
1) Immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies
2) Divest from direct ownership and indirect investment in fossil fuels within 5 years
3) Implement a Responsible Investment Policy, in line with the stated missions and aims of Imperial College London, with student and staff consultation representation.

Imperial is a world-leading institution in environmental and climate change research, and we feel the college fund should reflect this and not be investing in resources that are the root cause of climate change. Imperial College is currently ranked 141st in People & Planet's Green League, reflecting a lack of commitment to environmental issues.

Why is this important?

Climate 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 [3].

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:
[1] FOI Request
[2] People & Planet, Platform, 350.org: http://peopleandplanet.org/dl/fossil-free/knowledge-power-report.pdf
[3] Carbon Tracker Initiative Report (Carbon Tracker & The Grantham Research Institute, LSE) : http://www.carbontracker.org/wastedcapital

How it will be delivered

We will deliver the petition to Alice Gast a future meeting of College Council.

Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London, United Kingdom

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • When many of its students (including me) decided to go in to STEM because they (perhaps naively) thought they could make a positive change, should this university be investing in businesses which are major contributors to civilisation's greatest threat, and are a regressive force when it comes to technological and human development? The biggest barriers to sustainability and combating global warming are political and economic. It's about time Imperial students realised this.
  • Global warming and climate change is the biggest threat to us all. While universities are places where moral and ethical behaviour should be promoted, they do not always practice what they preach. Imperial College and all other universities should divest from fossil fuel industry. We should all try to leave the world in a better shape.
  • Students who want to learn how to contribute to a more sustainable and healthy way of being are asked to pay massive fees to a university who invests its money in business that is directly harming living creatures on this planet... why? Imperial should divest from fossil fuels

Updates

2017-03-28 19:29:17 -0400

Hi everyone! We are relaunching the campaign this year as Divest Imperial. Follow our progress on Facebook, or get in touch at divestimperial@gmail.com if you want to support the campaign, by joining the strategy team, taking part in actions or lobbying the university board directly by signing an open letter (staff and alumni in particular).

Imperial should know better. Let's cut ties to the fossil fuel industry NOW!
All the best, Divest Imperial

2015-02-09 14:00:39 -0500

1,000 signatures reached

2015-01-23 07:34:48 -0500

500 signatures reached

2014-01-27 03:26:42 -0500

100 signatures reached

2014-01-24 10:31:15 -0500

50 signatures reached

2014-01-16 11:55:15 -0500

25 signatures reached

2014-01-14 09:08:07 -0500

10 signatures reached