Students rally around divestment for Fossil Free Friday
14 Feb 2014
Hundreds of students today took part in Fossil Free Friday, a national day of action, calling on their universities and politicians to break up with the fossil fuel industry.
Fossil Free Friday marks the end of Go Green Week, People & Planet’s national week of action on climate change. This year Go Green Week focused on the Fossil Free campaign, which aims to sever UK universities’ ties to the fossil fuel industry.
Students on 40 campuses around the UK, including Glasgow, Hull, Edinburgh, Oxford and Leeds, organised rallies and stunts to deliver Valentine’s cards to their Vice Chancellors calling on them to divest their collective £5.2bn from the climate-wrecking industry.
In particular, Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities came one step closer to becoming fossil free as they received almost 2500 signatures from staff, students and alumni supporting divestment. On Wednesday, a meeting of Glasgow’s University Court officially formed an advisory committee to consider the case for fossil fuel divestment by April 2014.
Elsewhere, students from Hull, Warwick, Leeds Met and Bristol all voted by large majorities to support the Fossil Free campaign this week, making a total of 14 Student Union’s now actively behind the campaign.
Hannah Roques, a campaigner from University of Edinburgh People & Planet, said
“Today we gave our petition of more than 1380 signatures to the University Secretary asking for divestment from both the fossil fuel and arms industries. We also gave Valentine’s Day’s cards with poems inside asking that the University break up with the fossil fuel industry as we don’t think this relationship is working out”
Together students reached almost 9000 signatures on their Fossil Free UK online petitions and their are now 46 active campus campaigns and growing!
Students also published an open letter to all UK Vice Chancellors calling on them to take the first steps towards divestment by July of this year.
Politicians have also been flooded with messages about their ties to the fossil fuel industry this Go Green Week. Over 300 MPs received a Valentine’s day email today calling on them to ask their party not to take dirty money from the fossil fuel industry.
James Farndon, a spokesperson for People & Planet, said
“Today was an amazing finale to Go Green Week - our biggest to date. Students focused on tackling the damaging links between our universities; our politicians and the fossil fuel industry. As flooding wreaks havoc across the UK, it’s been inspiring to see 1000s of students at schools, colleges and universities demand their institutions take real leadership on the issue of climate change. The time for empty promises is over.”