Chris Combats the Climate Crisis: Divestment
The grassroots campaign - "Fossil Free" led by students across the country aims to ensure that 100's of millions of £'s of investments - held by UK universities are pulled out of Fossil Fuel Companies. The campaign has seen success after success and has been one of the most barnstorming examples of climate activism in recent memory.
What if you want to help?
If you'd like to get involved in our work around the environment please drop me a line on C.Dow@leedstrinity.ac.uk
Christopher Dow, LTSU Vice President leading the campaign for Trinity Students, said:
"We are incredibly proud to see Leeds Trinity join the ranks of those Universities who have pledged to never invest money in the companies destroying our planet. This is a great milestone for my 'Chris Combats the Climate Crisis' campaign and hopefully the first of many to come!"
EXTRA INFO –
What follows is an explanation from People and Planet - a non-profit campaign group which helps to co-ordinate the Fossil Free campaign on why Divestment is so important:
"If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. No UK university or college in their right mind would accept funding from or invest their funds in tobacco companies these days - it’s inconsistent with their research on cancer. The same holds true for fossil fuel companies causing climate change and yet most universities and colleges still do not recognise this. That’s changing!
Climate change is already having massive effects on some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. No one wants to flee their home because of famine or conflict caused by extreme weather. Yet since 2008, climate-related disasters displaced 22 million people yearly across the world. Communities on the frontline of fossil fuel extraction are also seeing their land and ways of living destroyed.
Indigenous communities across the globe are resisting the expansion of extractive projects across the world and we should support their struggle.
If the fossil fuel industry had put people before profits, millions of people would not be losing their livelihoods or becoming refugees in their own countries and beyond. And worse is still to come. Fossil fuel companies hold five times more carbon in their fossil fuel reserves than we can safely afford to burn to stop runaway climate change - and are still spending billions searching for more.
200 publicly-traded companies hold the vast majority of the world’s proven coal, oil and gas reserves. Those are the companies we’ll be asking our institutions to break their links with.
From Canada’s dirty tar sands to Arctic drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) for shale gas - the fossil fuel industry is scraping the bottom of the barrel and causing huge environmental and human devastation in the process. Withdrawing our institutions’ financial and moral backing for this climate-wrecking industry is crucial to tackling climate change.
Climate justice activism is at one of its most exciting, crucial junctures. Indeed, movement is rapidly gaining momentum and is becoming a site of truly creative, uncompromising action. The Fossil Free campaign is a key pillar of this movement.
So why is Fossil Free so special? In many ways, it is a uniquely effective solidarity campaign. Indeed, whilst it may seem that climate change knows no borders, the disproportionate impact of fossil fuel extraction on the Global South is immense. This gives rise to the well-trodden question: what can we do here to help?
True solidarity is about locating your own position(s) within the international system that funds, profits from and legitimizes environmental destruction, and fighting from there. In other words – understanding how the institutions that we feed into, with our money and our legitimation are responsible for capitalism-induced climate change; the consequences of which are racist, classist, sexist and imperialist.
This is the crux of Fossil Free. Many grass-roots movements, governments and organisations in the Global South have for a long time been vocalized their opposition to fossil fuel companies. From Nigeria to Bolivia, they have witnessed the devastating human cost of their activities first hand – and are aware of the future consequences that await them.
Divestment is one way we can help to weaken the fossil fuel industry further to support frontline communities in their fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground."