Fossil Free Oxford University

To: Oxford University's Vice-Chancellor Andrew Hamilton

We call on Oxford University to:

- screen for and exclude the fossil fuel industry from OU's investment portfolio
- immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies
- divest from the fossil fuel industry and shift funds to positive, ethical investments within 5 years

Why is this important?

Climate change, caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from burning oil, gas and coal, threatens the lives and livelihoods of billions of people around the world. Extreme weather events — the floods, droughts, melting icecaps and wildfires we've seen in recent years — make it clear that climate change is no longer a future threat: it’s a clear and present danger. Those worst affected, and often least responsible for causing climate change, are the poor and vulnerable in both developed and developing countries.

We now know that at least two-thirds of fossil fuel companies' reserves will have to remain underground if the world is to meet existing internationally agreed targets to avoid the threshold for "dangerous" climate change. Experts warn this 'carbon bubble' could lead to stranded assets worth trillions and plunge the world into another financial crisis if left unaddressed.

And yet, despite University of Oxford's public commitments to tackling climate change both through its estates and its world-leading climate research, there are strong and pervasive links between our institution and the fossil fuel industry. University of Oxford has the largest endowment of any UK university invested in numerous fossil fuel companies.

If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage.

It's time for University of Oxford to realise how incompatible these investments are with a safe climate future, and to take meaningful action to go Fossil Free.

How it will be delivered

By hand to Andrew Hamilton

Reasons for signing

  • Rosemary G. 2015-03-17 05:40:28 -0400
    moral duty
  • Morgan C. 2014-12-04 10:45:17 -0500
    Continued investment in fossil fuels is antithetical to the mission of one of the world's oldest research institutions, an institution thus charged with bettering the future of the next generation
  • Toby C. 2014-12-04 05:26:17 -0500
    We're researching clean bioenergy, give us the money instead. Love, Cambridge (Ox alum)


almost 2 years ago

1,000 signatures reached

over 2 years ago

Police declare Shell's recruitment stall a crime scene

Moments before a banner protest by students and Oxford residents, police cordoned off a Shell recruitment stand in the city centre today, preventing Shell from actually recruiting students to work in the fossil fuel industry. Read the full story:

almost 3 years ago

There is now a group of students and staff meeting regularly to discuss how to take forward the Fossil Free Oxford campaign. If you're interested in getting more involved, join us on Facebook: