People & Planet's Fossil Free campaign
What is the Fossil Free UK campaign?
The fossil fuel industry is unequivocally driving us towards a global climate crisis: we will not keep dangerous climate change at bay without halting our extraction of fossil-fuels.
Too many UK universities support the fossil fuel industry directly through their research, their £6bn endowments and investments and their partnerships with some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world like BP and Shell.
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What is the People & Planet network calling for?
If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. No UK university in their right mind would accept funding from or invest their funds in tobacco companies these days - it’s inconsistent with their research on cancer. The same holds true for fossil fuel companies causing climate change and yet most universities still do not recognise this. That’s about to change!
We want all universities to:
1. Move their money
- screen for and exclude the fossil fuel industry from their investment portfolio
- immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies
- divest from the fossil fuel industry and shift funds to lower risk, ethical investments within 5 years
2. Stop the greenwash
- publish full details of their financial and other ties to the fossil fuel industry
- stop giving out honorary degrees to fossil fuel industry CEOs (and start giving more to real leaders!)
- stop accepting sponsorship and advertising from fossil fuel companies
3. Support a clean energy future for all
- provide students with ethical careers advice and opportunities
- refocus research & expertise on climate solutions and phase out climate-damaging fossil fuel research
- demand more research funding for renewables from fossil fuel companies and government
Why focus on fossil fuels?
200 publicly-traded companies hold the vast majority of the world’s proven coal, oil and gas reserves. Those are the companies we’ll be asking our institutions to break their links with. Together they hold five times more carbon in their fossil fuel reserves than we can safely afford to burn to stop runaway climate change. It’s that simple…if you do the maths.
From Canada’s dirty tar sands to Arctic drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) for shale gas - the fossil fuel industry is scraping the bottom of the barrel and causing huge environmental and human devastation in the process. Withdrawing our institutions’ financial and moral backing for this climate-wrecking industry is crucial to tackling climate change.
What can I do?
The campaign launched this Autumn, with over 35 groups taking on the campaign. Join them!