100 signatures reached
To: Universities UK - the sector body representing 134 British universities
Fossil Free UK Universities
People & Planet, the UK's largest student campaigning network, is calling on all universities to:
- screen for and exclude unconventional fossil fuels from their investment portfolio within a year
- immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuel companies
- divest from the fossil fuel industry and shift funds into lower risk, ethical investments within 5 years
Full details of students' other demands can be found at http://peopleandplanet.org/fossil-free.
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.
And yet, despite UK universities' public commitments to tackling climate change both through their estates and their world-leading climate research, there are strong and pervasive links between our institutions and the fossil fuel industry.
If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. Too many of our universities support the fossil fuel industry directly through their research, and indirectly through their endowments and investments and their partnerships with some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world like BP and Shell.
It's time for British universities to realise how incompatible these relationships are with a safe climate future, and to take meaningful action to go Fossil Free.
How it will be delivered
We will stage an action to deliver the petition at the annual conference of Universities UK - the representative body for the Vice-Chancellors of 134 universities.