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. People & Planet is calling on universities to move their money from fossil fuel investments to green energy; to stop the greenwash and to support a clean energy future for all.
As People & Planet’s annual University League is published, the University of Manchester has ranked in the middle of the road in 71st place. This is yet more evidence that the University is lagging behind on sustainability and ignoring its students’ demands for action for the environment.
Not only has the 2015 #1 failed to make any recognisable progress this year, the University of Plymouth has also failed to maintain it’s ranking between 2016 and 2017, falling a further two places down to 14th.
Two of the University of Plymouths lowest scores are for Ethical Investment and Workers Rights.
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.
Last week at the Barclays Annual General Meeting (AGM), the Chairman John McFarlane told shareholders that the bank would be withdrawing their financing of fracking company Third Energy - licensed to frack in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. Barclays owns 97% controlling stakes in Third Energy. This could be a huge victory for the anti-fracking and climate justice movement in the UK, showing the power of organising and building coalitions in our local communities.