Petition is successful with 1,032 signatures
To: University of Surrey
University of Surrey > Divest from Fossil Fuels
University of Surrey divested from all fossil fuels in October 2015!
Divest fossil fuel investment within 5 years by:
1) Excluding fossil fuels industry investments through our ethical investment policy.
2) Shifting funds to lower risk, ethical investments (such as renewable energy, local community projects. . .)
3) Calling on pension funds to exclude fossil fuel companies from their portfolios
4) Cutting Surrey's research & careers ties with fossil fuels industry (eg. not promoting industry to students).
Why is this important?
How 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%.
Carbon Tracker Report - http://www.carbontracker.org
How it will be delivered
Presented to the Director of Finance and the Vice Chancellor