1,000 signatures reached
To: Prof David Richardson
UEA, Bank on Something Better!
1. Implement a stricter ethical investment policy that includes protection of both human rights and the environment
2. Immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels.
3. Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.
4. Stop accepting sponsorship and advertising from unethical companies
Why is this important?
Why would an institution at the forefront of research on the impacts of climate change choose to fund the very industry doing most to cause it? Despite UEA's aspiration to be ‘an exemplary low carbon campus’, freedom of information requests reveal that it has over £130,000 invested in fossil fuels. The companies that UEA finances – Shell, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto – are engaged in some the most destructive projects in the world today, including coal mining in Indonesia and Mozambique, the Canadian tar sands and Arctic oil drilling.
We're all part of institutions that ought to be looking out for the public good, from city and state governments to religious institutions to other kinds of charities and non-profits. Most of these institutions invest money in stocks and bonds, and have a responsibility to divest from an industry that’s destroying our future, and reinvest in solutions to climate change.
Even as extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy, floods, droughts and fires threaten to overwhelm local budgets, government action to solve this crisis is all but stalled. We have the solutions, but we won’t see any political progress on the issue until we can weaken the power of the fossil fuel industry.
The bottom line is this: divestment is the only moral choice for institutions that care about the planet and its residents. Solving the climate crisis is the only practical choice for governments that care about their solvency.