We are in a climate emergency driven by our global addiction to fossil fuels. With the recent floods in Pakistan and Nigeria, killing 2300 and displacing millions, the global South are bearing the brunt of this crisis.
What do we want: We want City, University of London to divest from the Fossil Fuel Industry.
City are currently justifying their investment by claiming that fossil fuel companies are part of the solution.
Fossil fuel companies will never be part of the solution. This is because of the following:
1. They have spent millions on climate denial campaigns which have set climate solutions behind by decades. They are currently engaged in a different kind of denialism: greenwashing.
2. If the world is to reach net zero by 2050, there can be no new oil or gas fields. In fact, 60% of existing oil and gas reserves need to stay in the ground if we are to keep to 1.5C of warming. Despite this, fossil fuel firms are set to spend more than 800 billion on new oil and gas fields by 2030.
3. In terms of their contribution to climate solutions, only 5% of the profits generated from effectively blowing our carbon budget will be invested into renewable technology.
4. They remain paying members of organisations, such as the American Trade Organisation, who lobby governments to stall, delay and weaken climate legislation. In fact, industry delegates’ presence at the latest climate summit ensured no effective targets for a climate solution were set.
There is no doubt: the interests and actions of fossil fuel companies directly oppose the interests of the planet and everyone on it. They are investing billions upon billions on projects which accelerate the unfolding climate emergency, jeopardising any chance of a livable future for all. Five percent of the profit generated from this destruction of our planet is to be invested into renewable energy, to save our planet.
Investing in these companies is investment in exacerbating the climate emergency. It is an endorsement of dangerous industry greenwashing.
City claims to be a world-leading university - committed to scientific rigor and supporting sustainability across all activities and actively playing their part in responding to this global crisis. Divesting from fossil fuels is the only position consistent with this mission. With more than half of the UK’s universities already committed to fossil fuel divestment, it is time for City to take this critical step towards climate leadership and invest instead in climate solutions that will secure a livable future for all.