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Students call on universities to reduce investments in fossil fuels

 
Student Campaign Against Fossil Fuels Investment

A photo montage of university students campaigning against investing in fossil fuels. Photograph: People & Planet Edinburgh

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Students call on universities to reduce investments in fossil fuels” was written by Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent, and Emma Howard, for theguardian.com on Friday 14th February 2014 13.05 UTC

Students around the UK will tell their universities on Friday to reduce their investments in fossil fuels, in an effort to change the UK’s investment practices.

The day of action will see student bodies of many higher educational institutions publicising their opposition to investments by their universities in oil and gas-related funds.

At Oxford University, at least 10 common rooms have passed motions mandating each college’s junior and middle common room to push the university for full fossil fuel divestment.

The university’s socially responsible investment review committee will meet later this month to consider these proposals. Motions at 14 other student unions throughout the UK were passed this week. People and Planet, the non-governmental organisation that organised the action, has also written an open letter to UniversitiesUK, calling for divestment.

It said: “We believe that investing in fossil fuel companies runs completely counter to the strong commitments made by all UK vice-chancellors to reduce the higher education sector’s climate impacts.”

The national day of action will include a tour of London universities and a rally at Oxford. At Edinburgh University, a petition with 1,480 signatures was handed to the university principal.

At present, only Edinburgh and Glasgow universities have agreed to consider their investments in oil and gas funds.

In protest at the investment of university funds in fossil fuels, Hull University’s student union organised a sit-in at its library. At Glasgow University, there will be a “creative display” of more than 1,000 signatures to its petition. At Imperial College, London, students and lecturers were greeted on Friday morning with chocolates accompanied by information about the financial ties the institution has to oil and gas companies.

The Church of England, whose national synod met this week, has decided to ask “national investing bodies to ensure that their investment policy (including the option of disinvestment) is aligned with the theological, moral and social priorities of the Church.”

There was no response from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

 

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