1,000 signatures reached
To: Principal George Boyne
University of Aberdeen: Divest from Fossil Fuels
We, the undersigned, call on the University of Aberdeen to divest from the fossil fuel industry, and choose a safer future for its students.
Specifically, we call on the university to:
• Make an immediate statement of principle, expressing its intention to divest its holdings in fossil fuel companies within five years
• Immediately stop making new investments in the industry
• Instruct its investment managers to wind down the university’s existing holdings in the fossil fuel industry over five years
• Publish full details of its ties to the fossil fuel industry, financial and otherwise
• Refrain from giving out honorary degrees to fossil fuel industry CEOs.
Why is this important?
The future of Aberdeen graduates is currently threatened by climate change. Already we are suffering the effects of a 1°C rise in global average temperatures, and world leaders agree that the warming must be contained at a 2°C increase in order to avoid catastrophic global effects.
UN climate chief Christina Figueres has called on investors to divest from fossil fuels, saying “The pensions, life insurances and nest eggs of billions of ordinary people depend on the long-term security and stability of institutional investment funds. Climate change increasingly poses one of the biggest long-term threats to those investments and the wealth of the global economy.”
In order to avoid global temperatures rising further than a 2°C increase, as much as 80% of currently known fossil fuel reserves will have to be left in the ground - yet the value of fossil fuel assets is based on the extraction of all those reserves. When the world gets serious about climate change, these "carbon bubbles" will burst and the value of fossil fuel shares will plummet. This is why the university not only has a moral, but also a financial duty to withdraw its investments from the fossil fuel industry.
We call on the University of Aberdeen to join other universities leading the way on this issue and protect the future of its students by divesting from the fossil fuel industry now.