100 signatures reached
To: University of Southampton
Fossil Free Southampton University
We call on the University of Southampton to:
1. Move its money!
- screen for and exclude the fossil fuel industry from its 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
2. Support a clean energy future and green jobs
- provide Southampton University students with ethical careers advice and opportunities
- refocus research & expertise on climate solutions and phase out climate-damaging fossil fuel research
- demand more research funding for renewables from fossil fuel companies and government
3. Stop the greenwash
- publish full details of its financial and other ties to the fossil fuel industry
- stop accepting sponsorship and advertising from fossil fuel companies
Why is this important?
If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage, right?
As emphasized in recent reports from the IPCC, international efforts must be significantly enhanced in order to remain below a 2°C limit of global warming, with risks of abrupt or irreversible climate consequences increasing with the magnitude of warming. Without dramatic reductions in carbon emissions the rate of climate change will have numerous detrimental effects. Environmental effects include sea level rise, more severe and prolonged droughts and floods, increase in number and intensity of hurricanes and storms, loss of biodiversity, decrease in fresh water availability and many more. These also have huge social and economic consequences with developing countries that are least responsible for these effects being most vulnerable and least capable of managing and adapting to the effects. Ultimately climate change will impact us all, therefore, it is clear that climate change mitigation must become a priority and we cannot allow the fossil fuel companies to continue with business as usual. The vast majority of fossil fuel reserves need to remain in the ground and this message must be reinforced!
UK universities are deeply entangled in the fossil fuel industry. They currently invest up to £5.2 billion in the industry depending on the university, with money from their pension funds and endowments. Not only are universities financially supporting the fossil fuel industry, they are giving it a social licence. Universities are meant to be a bastion of forward thinking and life changing research in our society. Therefore, to invest in fossil fuels goes completely against this in every way. It is not just financial investments; too many UK universities also support the fossil fuel industry directly through their research and their partnerships with some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world like Shell and BP.
How it will be delivered
We the undersigned call upon the Vice Chancellor, Professor Don Nutbeam, of the University of Southampton, to divest from the fossil fuel industry and shift funds to lower risk, ethical investment within 5 years. As well as immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies and exclude the fossil fuel industry from the university's investment portfolio.