To: Vice Chancellor Chris Brink

Newcastle University (UK) Fossil Free Campaign

To Vice Chancellor Chris Brink, we call on you to:
- Review and publish this institution's financial ties to the fossil fuel industry.
- Immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuel companies.
- Divest from the fossil fuel industry and re-invest in renewable energy within 5 years.

Why is this important?

If it’s wrong to fuel the climate crisis, it’s wrong for our institutions to profit from the companies fuelling the climate crisis. Fossil fuel companies’ current reserves of oil, coal and gas hold five times more carbon than the world’s atmosphere can safely handle. Their business plan will cause climate chaos for billions of us, yet UK universities still collectively invest £6.6billion in fossil fuel companies. Though from a different pool of money, that's the equivalent to £1, 804 per student! By divesting from fossil fuels we can secure a clean energy future for generations to come. It’s time to dump the fossil fuel industry.
• The university is contradicting its commitments to tackling climate change by reducing fossil fuel consumption and promoting good energy practice, as stated in the ‘Environmental Sustainability Policy’, ‘energy policy statement’ and ‘Green Education Declaration’.
• Newcastle University has an endowment of £55.2million including investments in fossil fuel companies BP and Royal Dutch Shell of £2,749,585 and £3,308,964 respectively.
• BP and Shell are among the world’s top 10 largest fossil fuel companies, by proven carbon reserves, and that these reserves are well in excess of the amount of carbon that can be safely burned to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
• In April 2010, BP was responsible for an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico which released between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil a day, covering thousands of square miles of ocean and causing devastating harm to sea life in the area.
• Royal Dutch Shell have already commenced exploratory drilling in the Arctic and have expressed a keen interest in oil extraction in the area. Drilling in the Arctic could cause irreversible damage to the local and global ecosystem.
• Six higher education institutions in the United States in addition to seventeen cities have already committed to divesting from fossil fuels for both moral and financial reasons. Glasgow University recently became the first UK university to commit to the Fossil Free campaign, followed by SOAS, Edinburgh and Warwick.
• Ending investment in the fossil fuel industry provides an opportunity for re-investment in renewable energies – a route to a clean and healthy environment.

Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • fossil fuels smell bad, the fumes are toxic and they make life a misery in the long term for people and planet
  • The case for divestment is compelling. Newcastle University can no longer rely on a business case for continued investment in hydrocarbons, but must confront the overwhelming moral arguments against financial ties with the global fossil fuels industry.
  • I agree strongly with this cause

Updates

2014-10-20 09:51:12 -0400

50 signatures reached

2014-10-19 06:58:06 -0400

25 signatures reached

2014-10-18 17:34:02 -0400

10 signatures reached