People & Planet's Fossil Free campaign
Join the Fossil Free 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. Start your own campaign
UK universities and colleges support the fossil fuel industry directly through their research, their £5.2bn investments in fossil fuel companies and their partnerships with some of the worst-offending companies in the world like BP and Shell.
So far, campaigns at 83 institutions have gained 43,000 signatures of support.
In October 2014, the University of Glasgow was the first UK university to fully divest its £129 million endowment from fossil fuels.
Since then the campaign has exploded with 19 more victories:
The University of Sheffield, the University of Surrey, Oxford Brooked University, the University of Warwick and SOAS committed to divest from all fossil fuel companies
The Univeristy of Oxford, the London School of Economics, the University of Edinburgh, Wolfson College (Oxford), Birmingham City University, Cranfield University, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Hertfordshire, the University of Portsmouth and the University of Westminster committed to divest from Coal & Tar Sands
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine divest from Coal
Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Bedfordshire committed to never invest in fossil fuels.
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 or college 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 and colleges still do not recognise this. That’s about to change!
We want all universities and colleges 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 in Autumn 2013, with nearly 50 groups taking on the campaign. Join them!