Following their 17-month student campaign, Fossil Free St Andrews has announced that the university has just joined an increasing number of British institutions in divesting completely from fossil fuel operations.
As of November last year 25% of British universities had already taken this significant step, with many more pledged to do the same.
Behind this campaign is 350.org: a grassroots movement which organises climate-oriented projects around the world. Their central aims are to keep carbon in the ground, to help construct a low-carbon economy and to pressurise governments into limiting emissions.
350.org has projects in almost every country and its online presence has been key in creating mass mobilisation for climate change issues.
The group’s name, “350”, refers to the safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in parts per million (ppm): the current global average is approximately 400 ppm. The impact of this ever-increasing figure will be devastating to biodiversity, food security and much more.
350.org’s “Fossil Free” campaign has drawn global interest as it confronts major educational, religious and social organisations which profit from fossil fuel investments.
These institutions, premised on the concept of serving and benefitting society, are being accused of behind-the-scenes funding of fossil fuel operations – an ultimately destructive process.
In teaming up with 350.org, the environmental organisation People and Planet has used its power as Britain’s largest student activist network to tackle university fossil fuel investment. Student populations are now a major driving force behind this growing global movement for fossil fuel divestment, urging their universities to pave the way.
In their official press release, Andrew Taylor, from People & Planet said:
“St Andrews ditching their investments in fossil fuels shows that Scotland continues to be a leader on sustainability – and students have been at the forefront of this movement.
This is a fight for their future and ant effective way of standing in solidarity with front-line communities.”
Fossil Free St Andrews told The National Student:
“Going forward we are aiming to submit a petition by April to the University Court so that the University’s Sustainable Investment Policy will be updated so that investing in fossil fuels will be banned.
Find more information at https://gofossilfree.org/ where campaigners reveal the hidden world of fossil fuel divestment within some very famous institutions.
A piece written for The National Student.