This morning (October 24), we held a peaceful demonstration in Barclay’s bank on Cornmarket Street. Our group of students from the University of Oxford and members of the city joined an international effort to demand banks to stop funding fossil fuel expansion projects, “before it is too late”.
Barclays, specifically has invested £48 million in Kinder Morgan, the largest pipeline company in North America and the corporation responsible for Trans Mountain, a pipeline to transport the least efficient, dirtiest oil out of the tar sands in Canada.
If we are serious about preventing catastrophic warming, we cannot dig any new coal mines, drill any new fields, or build any more pipelines. The new reality for power production, according to a recent study from academics at the University of Oxford, is that no new fossil fuel infrastructure can be constructed after 2017 unless other installations are closed before the end of their lifetime, dismantled, or modernised. Yet fossil fuel companies have shown they will stop at nothing to dig up and sell every last bit of coal, gas and oil.
People & Planet and the National Union of Students (NUS) announced today that over a third of universities in the UK have made fossil free commitments, as nine new UK universities have committed to never invest in fossil fuel companies. This brings the total to fifty four institutions which have taken action to exclude fossil fuel companies from their investment portfolios.