STATEMENT FROM ZERO CARBON REGARDING GREENPEACE REPORT – 23 October 2015
“Over the past two years the global divestment movement has shown the very real path to a sustainable, fossil-free future. But this report exposes just how extensive the fossil fuel industry’s links with our University are, at a time when we need to take radical action against this polluting industry. It is recognised across the world that global temperatures must remain no more than 2°C higher than in pre-industrial …times if climate change is not to destroy our entire way of life. For this to happen, study after study has demonstrated that 80% of currently known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. This view is endorsed by mainstream elements of society, from Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, to the United Nations. Companies like BP and Shell – funding the University of Cambridge to the tune of £25 million – are not part of a sustainable future, no matter how they, or the University, might pretend otherwise. Small investments in renewables are far outweighed by the catastrophic impacts of continued oil extraction.
“For BP to then have an institute at Cambridge whose aim is to enhance oil recovery is beyond parody. Their sponsorship of this and other areas of Cambridge University – such as the Engineering Society – is not selfless. BP has spoken of ‘reaping benefits’, of this money as an ‘investment’. The same is true of Shell – both companies are exploiting this University to give them a social license to operate. In universities around this country and the world, divestment is denying them that moral acceptability – Cambridge needs to catch up.
“It is time to kick them out. It is impossible for this money not to influence the direction of research. It is impossible for the sponsorship not to give these rapacious companies a social license to drill. It is impossible for this £25 million to be compatible with the University’s Mission Statement, promising a positive contribution to society along with concern for sustainability.
“Last week the University published a video entitled “Dear World…”, positioning itself as the driving force for a better future. If it wants anyone to respect that, it needs to demonstrate moral leadership and distance itself from the fossil fuel industry. Fortunately, the working group on investment recently set up by the University presents the perfect opportunity, just a month before the historic climate summit in Paris. All moral and financial arguments point to the same thing – divestment from fossil fuels.”
12/05/16 Why we must Break Free from fossil fuels – Bluesci
27/04/16 It’s time for Cambridge to divest from fossil fuels – Varsity
27/04/16 Cambridge students can make divestment happen – The Tab
02/02/16 300 Oxbridge academics take stand on fossil fuels – The Tab
06/11/15 The university must address climate change – Varsity