Check out this article in The Independent for extended coverage of the University of Cambridge’s decision on fossil fuel divestment.
Though Zero Carbon welcomes the University’s blacklisting of coal and tar sands companies, this decision has not gone far enough. The University’s rejection of divestment from oil and gas companies contradict it’s own mission statement, citing “concern for sustainability and the relationship with the environment.”
It is increasingly clear that fossil fuel companies are not part of a liveable future and that shareholder engagement has not, and will not succeed.
The fight will continue next year. #DivestCambridge
Please click here for our press release responding to the report of the Working Group on Investment Responsibility at Cambridge University.
“Last Monday the University Council approved the working group report recommending a greater incorporation of environmental and social considerations into investment decisions while steering clear of a divestment decision.
This is too little, too slow. It is progress, but nowhere near enough. Whilst we welcome the University’s rejection of thermal coal and tar sands from its investment portfolio, and its increased focus on the existential threat of climate change, it has, ultimately, failed to respect the voices of students, failed to recognise the totality of the climate crisis in which we find ourselves, and failed to live up to its own values. Fortunately, this does not end here. We will take the issue of fossil fuel divestment to Regent House, the ultimate arbiter of University decisions, made up mostly of academics. We are confident that academics will weigh up the evidence, see that it is overwhelmingly in favour of divestment on all counts, and vote for divestment. Zero Carbon will continue our fight for a just, sustainable future next year.”
Check out this article written by our campaigns officer Alice Guillaume in the latest edition of BlueSci (Cambridge University science magazine).
“Break Free 2016 is part of the international divestment movement, aiming to accelerate the transition towards renewable energy and demonstrate to those in power that we must, as the name suggests, break free from fossil fuels.
The divestment movement is also here in Cambridge, led by the Cambridge Zero Carbon Society. On 30th April, over 200 individuals, an alliance of students and town groups, gathered on Parker’s Piece for Zero Carbon’s march for the University to divest…”
On April 30th over 250 students, academics, staff and members of the local community marched through the streets of Cambridge, calling on the University to fully divest from the fossil fuel industry. Speakers included Alice Guillaume (Zero Carbon Campaigns Officer), Revd Jeremy Caddick (Dean and Chaplain of Emmanuel College), Oscar Gillespie (local Green Councillor) and Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge Labour MP). Additionally, our petition with over 2100 signatures was handed to the Senate House. Over the past year, the pressure has mounted, and it will continue to do so until our University stops investing in devastation.
This was a huge moment for our campaign – a big thank you to everyone who attended!
For more info, check out these articles in Varsity and the Cambridge News.
(Also, if you haven’t already, you can sign our petition here.)
Our Open Letter from academics, student groups, alumni and others affiliated with the University of Cambridge has received over 100 signatures – and can be accessed here.
If you are an academic, student group, alumni, staff member or affiliated with the University of Cambridge and would like to add your name to our open letter, please get in touch! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Zero Carbon Society has released its official report outlining the case for divestment at the University of Cambridge, which can be accessed here. This 74-page report is the product of months of research by a team of committed students, members of the Zero Carbon Society.
Foreword from Dr Rowan Williams (former Archbishop of Canterbury & Master of Magdalene College):
“This document is a very remarkable achievement in itself, representing a fusion of serious and wide-ranging research, lucid argument and moral passion. As such, it is a worthy product of Cambridge at its best – and what it does is to appeal to Cambridge at its best. If we claim, as we rightly do, that a good university is an institution that poses large and serious questions to society overall, and that seeks to shape minds and lives which are not passive, conformist and afraid of responsibility, then the issues raised in these pages are a proper matter for the University and the Colleges to consider.”
This report will be submitted for consideration by a working group of the Advisory Committee on Benefactions and External and Legal Affairs (ACBELA), which will to submit its own report of recommendations to the University Council on 23rd May this year.
Check out this article in Varsity for more information on the release of our report.
Check out our Facebook event here.
Join Zero Carbon on Saturday the 30th of April at lunchtime as we march for Cambridge University to step up and play a positive role in our future by divesting from fossil fuels. Over the course of this campaign we have dropped banners, drawn red lines, popped carbon bubble balloons and reached over 2000 signatures on our petition. This march is the culmination of our efforts to pressure the university into taking the decision to divest as the working group on ethical investment concludes. EVERYONE is welcome, please invite your friends!
It is more important than ever that the people of Cambridge – students, lecturers, citizens, businesses and societies and groups of all stripes – make clear that we support divestment from fossil fuels and use this last opportunity to make our voices heard to actually bring about change.
A decision here will reverberate across the globe. Let’s make sure the University of Cambridge joins Warwick, Edinburgh, Glasgow, LSE, the British Medical Association, the Church of England and many others in standing up for a sustainable future, in solidarity with the lives and livelihoods of those already being affected devastatingly by climate change, by revoking the social license of the fossil fuel industry to continue to destroy the planet. #DivestCambridge #FossilFree
START: Magdalene Bridge (TBC) 12pm
END: outside Senate House, 1pm
Route: will be published after consultations with the police.
Banner and placard making: details will be posted on this event. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own, but a loud voice is more important than anything else!
One of the main challenges we face is convincing people that fossil fuel divestment is right.
Isn’t divestment hypocritical?
Doesn’t shareholder engagement make more sense?
Won’t investors lose money?
The simple answer to all these questions is: No. Financially, divestment makes sense and morally it is essential.
For a more detailed explanation as to why the University of Cambridge should divest from fossil fuels, check out this article in the Guardian.
Love, Zero Carbon x