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To: University of Surrey

University of Surrey > Divest from Fossil Fuels

🎉 Victory! 🎉 In October 2015 People & Planet was proud to announce that the University of Surrey committed to fully divest fossil fuel companies from its £42+ million investment portfolio.
An absolutely huge congratulations to the students and others in Surrey People & Planet for their tenacity & commitment to climate justice. Without them this win would not have been possible.

Now students are demanding Surrey aligns its careers services with its green image & excludes oil, gas & mining companies from student recruitment 📢 Add your voice & amplify the call here

Keep us winning 👉

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 -

How it will be delivered

Presented to the Director of Finance and the Vice Chancellor

University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL




2022-05-11 06:35:40 -0400

Petition is successful with 1,037 signatures

2016-08-22 17:04:55 -0400

Petition is successful with 1,032 signatures

2016-03-17 19:00:30 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2016-03-15 06:08:08 -0400

The University of Surrey Finance Board has now send us a letter they promised outlining the decision they made at their meeting on the 26th of September 2015. They’ve voted to sell its current fossil fuel investments, becoming the first UK university of the new academic year to divest. The University has committed not to invest in the industry until after it has reviewed its ethical investment policy, which is scheduled for September 2017.

See Press Release:

The next stage of this campaign is to get the University to Update there Ethical investment Policy, All the Lecture's Pension Fund to Divest and review it's Careers and Research Ties.

We are also support members of the local community in their campaign to get Surrey Country Council Pension Fund to Divest.

2016-01-21 12:13:52 -0500

Petition is successful with 915 signatures

2015-08-12 15:34:08 -0400

Currently building up to University Finance Committee meeting on 24th of September where University will be reporting back on progress made over last year and Mustie (Union President and campaign team will be pushing University for a decision. Were aiming for 1500 signatures so please share this petition, we need all the fresher to sign it!

2014-02-20 08:27:42 -0500

100 signatures reached

2014-02-12 16:45:31 -0500

50 signatures reached

2014-02-11 14:58:02 -0500

We have now send the Finance Board the amendments to the University's Ethical Investment Policy that we think are needed.

2014-02-09 18:40:51 -0500

25 signatures reached

2014-02-05 05:01:57 -0500

10 signatures reached