People & Planet Grassroots Blog

London School of Tropical Hygiene & Medicine commits to full fossil fuel divestment

Image reads 'Victory! London School of Tropical Hygiene & Medicine divests from all fossil fuels!

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (‘LSHTM’) has become the sixth member institution of the University of London to make a commitment to exclude all fossil fuel extractor companies from their investments. This action is in contrast to the slow moves being made by its fellow members to do likewise and take urgent action in response to the climate crisis.

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Open letter: VCs, refuse Barclays branches return to campus on climate grounds

Image reads 'Lock Out Barclays' with a graphic of a padlock

On 26th February, as part of the day of action concluding People & Planet’s 2021 Go Green Week, under the banner ‘Solidarity Across Borders’ students across the country took action in demand of climate justice and in solidarity with global struggles against resource extraction and forced displacement.

As part of the Divest Barclays campaign, People & Planet sent the following open letter to the Vice Chancellors of five UK Universities: Lancaster University, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, University of East Anglia and University Of Sussex.

Dear Vice Chancellor

We, the undersigned, are calling on you to cut ties with Barclays bank.

In the midst of a pandemic, Barclays branches are leaving 5 UK Universities, canceling their leases. This leaves universities in the lurch, and students without essential financial services on campus.

Barclays bank is the biggest fossil fuel funder in Europe, pumping over £100 billion into fossil fuel companies since the Paris Agreement was signed. There can be no disputing that this bank has no intention of responsible action in the face of a climate crisis locking us into devastation, regardless of rhetoric.

Coronavirus isn’t the only global crisis today – we’re facing full-blown climate collapse. If we’re to stop it, we need to align all our areas of operations, including banking, with serious climate action. Studies show there cannot be any new oil, coal or gas infrastructure constructed anywhere if we’re to stay below 1.5C warming. 

We are making one simple and manageable request: Adopt a policy that makes it clear that Barclays branches cannot return to campus while they remain fossil fuel funders.

We need to send a message: our universities take the climate crisis seriously.

Release a public statement that you will not grant Barclays leases on university property until they cease funding fossil fuel infrastructure.

In hope, determination and sincerity

People & Planet, the UK’s largest climate justice student campaign network

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Visions for Pride: Letter to Pride

A Pride we would be proud of screengrab from video Visions for Pride

Today the Divest Pride team launched our Visions for Pride video, and delivered it with this letter to Pride in London, LCR Pride, Northern Pride and Pride Glasgow.

Dear Pride Glasgow, Pride in London, LCR Pride and Northern Pride,

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A Poem: Power Shift & Pandemic

Photograph of the Online Power Shift 2020 booklet in grass propped up against a tree. Bird, flower and tent graphics have been added around the edges in many different colours

This was my first ever Power Shift, and People & Planet's first ever online Power Shift. Needless to say, in the run up to Power Shift I felt excited, but also nervous and apprehensive. My mind, rather unhelpfully, filled itself with anxieties about not knowing anyone, but also the worries that come with the uncharted new landscape that the Coronavirus pandemic had created. But in the end, it turns out the worried questions about being camera shy or not wanting to speak on video need not have bothered me.

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Our Next Climate Campaign

On Saturday more than 30 students from People & Planet groups all across the country came together to decide our next climate campaign. We're thrilled to announce the End Extractivist Ties proposal was chosen from a really strong field.

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The Exclusivity of Inclusivity – A Take on Class

Photograph of a Leeds staff/student solidarity demo. People line the steps with placards.

Left-wing rhetoric is clear on the desire and shared goal for inclusivity; for those from varying sexual orientations, gender identifications, races, ethnicities and abilities to share in equality gained through ensuring systemic justice. Movements supporting this are often celebrated within academic institutions; solidarity can be seen through society involvement, democratic practice within student unions as well as increasingly explorative methods in inciting action and civil disobedience.

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People & Planet Leeds and the Quest For Fossil Free Finance

Photograph of four students at a table with signs reading "sign our petition", "bankrupt climate change" etc.

Our biggest achievement this year was at Leeds University Union’s May Forum, where we put forward a motion asking the union to lobby the University of Leeds to cut ties with Barclays until it stops funding the climate breakdown. Having achieved a huge victory at the start of the academic year, with the University divesting £3.6 million of its shares in Shell, BP and Total, we wanted to keep up the momentum and pressure the University to examine its secondary links to the fossil fuel industry. 

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