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To: Board Committee Members

University of Glasgow Academic Support for Fossil Fuel Divestment

This campaign has ended.

University of Glasgow Academic Support for Fossil Fuel Divestment

Glasgow University Climate Action society has been campaigning on University of Glasgow divest for over a year. Last year, we have collected over 1,200 student signatures supporting the campaign. We have asked the University to freeze and move any stock shares from the fossil fuel industry to more sustainable projects.
Last term in October the University Court made a decision in favour of our campaign, encouraging the University to divest all its available shares in the space of 10 years. However, recently our campaign is under threat as the decision made can still be altered and rejected by the university court.
We believe that it is the University’s responsibility to act ethically towards our environment and the future of our planet and people thus we want our university too keep their promises.

Why is this important?

The world in which the students of the University of Glasgow are to graduate into is currently threatened by the reality of climate change. Already the world is suffering the effects of 1°C rise in global average temperatures. Last year, Arctic sea-ice cover had retreated to its lowest levels since the beginning of satellite records, and the average global sea level was 1.4in above the 1993-2010 average. The world is experiencing more severe draught, wildfires and flooding, which impact the world's poorest most severely; the World Health Organisation estimates that climate change is causing at least 140,000 deaths per year. The fossil fuel industry is unequivocally driving us towards a global climate crisis, and we will not keep dangerous climate change at bay without halting our extraction of fossil-fuels.

The university has both a moral and a financial duty to its students to withdraw its investments from the fossil fuel industry. The moral case is clear: if it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. Furthermore, fossil fuels are a dangerous investment. The value of companies like Shell, BP and Chevron is based on the assumption that they will be able to dig up and sell their fossil fuel reserves. But if the world gets serious about stopping climate change, that would mean keeping 80% of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground, and the assumption that forms the basis for these companies' value will be undermined.

University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • This is a great opportunity for the university to demonstrate a serious commitment to sustainability.
  • Ethical investment is important for publically-funded institutions. It's the right thing to do. given what's very likely to happen if we don't move to sustainable energy use globally. The penalty for disinvesting is tiny relative to these arguments in favour of such an action.
  • I am on sabbatical and have been bragging about Glasgow's progressive views!


2015-02-20 04:47:50 -0500

100 signatures reached

2015-01-22 09:39:26 -0500

50 signatures reached

2015-01-22 04:39:38 -0500

25 signatures reached

2015-01-21 11:14:36 -0500

10 signatures reached