22 November 2016
Quarter of Universities divest from fossil fuels
We have some uplifting news— today student network People & Planet revealed through its University League that 16 more universities have made divestment commitments, bringing the total to 43— a quarter of all UK unis!
This is a huge moment— university commitments have more than doubled this year. It’s a remarkable achievement and a testament to the huge power of the student divestment movement.
With every new divestment commitment we reaffirm the case that public institutions like universities shouldn’t be funding an industry destroying our future. Thanks to the work of tireless organisers, we are really starting to show that the fossil fuel industry is not benign, should not be tolerated— they need to be kicked out of public life if we want to tackle climate change.
And this leadership couldn’t have come at a better moment: the election of Trump in the US has left many of us worried about the global rise of an openly racist, misogynist and climate-sceptic politics. It really is up to us to push for solutions to the climate crisis and injustice.
But this win has also strengthened our resolve— we need to fight harder than ever to turn the tide on the fossil fuel industry, and we’re in a better place than ever to do this. There are still divestment campaigns active at universities across the UK, as well as in local communities, faith groups, health organisations and more.
It’s easy to feel defeated at times like this, but it’s crucial we all take up the fight for climate justice, decolonisation and liberation. In the next few weeks alone we’ll be launching a campaign to divest parliament, making plans to get divestment on the agenda in local elections, and launching an exciting global mobilisation next May. But in the meantime— let’s keep celebrating the amazing achievements we’ve seen today.