Over the last week we’ve seen a huge victory for our campaign – Regent House passed a Grace committing the University to divest from fossil fuel companies. This is great news, and we hoped it would mean a complete success for our campaign.
Unfortunately, the University Council have decided that this Grace is only ‘advisory’, despite there being no indication of this in either the Grace itself or the University’s Statutes & Ordinances. In fact, the opposite is the case – the Statutes clearly intend that Regent House is the supreme decision making body of the University.
The Grace was signed by 140 Fellows of the University, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. Here’s what it said;
“That the Regent House, as the governing body of the University, resolves that none of the University’s Endowment Funds should be invested directly or indirectly in companies whose business is wholly or substantially concerned with the extraction of fossil fuels, and requires the Council to publish a Report to the University within twelve months setting out how this is to be achieved”.
We think this is pretty clear. Council’s response; offering yet another working group investigating the pros and cons of divestment, is simply not good enough.
Students and academics are united on this issue; the University must stop investing in climate change. Council are sorely mistaken if they think they can bury this issue in reports and opaque working groups.
You can find out more about Regent House here;