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University must go further

Green councillors have called on the University of Bristol to go further after it issued a statement saying it would looking into partial divestment from fossil fuels.

The university has announced it will consider preventing investment in the most fossil fuel intensive companies. The announcement follows sustained pressure from students and staff at the university, and a motion1 which was tabled to one of the university’s governance bodies by Green councillor Carla Denyer, calling on the university to ensure none of its £56 million endowment fund is invested in fossil fuels.

The campaign for the university to become ‘fossil free’ has also included a petition2 signed by over 2,000 students, an open letter3 signed by 50 staff and a number of events and debates organised by the students.

Green Councillor for Clifton East, Carla Denyer said:

“The statement from the university is disappointingly lacking in vision. The university’s promise amounts to thinking about withdrawing investment from some of the worst polluters at some point in the future.  This doesn’t go far enough and isn’t really good enough for a university which recently won a Green Capital Public Sector Award for sustainability4.”

“I am proud that a year ago Bristol City Council committed to halting investment in the fossil fuel industry after Green councillor Charlie Bolton raised the issue with the Mayor5. It would be exciting to see Bristol University also show leadership by making sure that its endowment fund helps to build a green and sustainable future. I urge the university to strengthen its commitment by pledging to phase out all fossil fuel investment over the next five years.” 

 

Notes 

  1. Motion to the Annual Meeting of University of Bristol Court
  2. Student petition: https://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/university-of-bristol-divest-from-the-fossil-fuel-industry
  3. http://cabot-institute.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/divestment-at-university-of-bristol.html
  4. University wins Green capital award: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2015/november/green-capital-award.html
  5. Bristol Council goes Fossil Free: http://gofossilfree.org/uk/press-release/bristol-mayor-commits-to-keeping-city-money-out-of-deadly-fossil-fuels/

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