Are you feeling inspired by Greta Thunberg? Has the momentum of the school strikes reached you? Now you can channel your energy into the Fossil Free campaign. This student-led movement demands that the University of Liverpool put their money where their mouth is and cut ties with the fossil fuel industry.
Last year the University of Liverpool had a staggering 12 million invested in major polluting companies such as Shell and BP. The Fossil Free campaign fought for divestment. Students asked the university to join 51 other institutions and withdraw their funding from oil and gas companies.
The campaign was a huge success. The University of Liverpool pledged to fully divest by 2022. This achievement proves that student action works. Students have a voice and it can be used to bring about climate action.
Don’t be a fossil fool, get involved!
The campaign has momentum and is ready to take more climate action at university. It is time for you to get involved and bring new ideas and energy to Fossil Free. Everyone is welcome from hardened climate activists to those harbouring a new-found interest in the environment.
With Fossil Free embarking on its next step, now is a fantastic open space to share your ideas and questions. You can contact Guild Officer Dylan to find out how you can participate. (See links below).
The message of Fossil Free is clear. The campaign believes that universities have a key role in stopping the effects of climate change.
To ensure the university stands by their commitment to divest, they ask for permanent student representation on the university investment sub-committee. These students will hold the university to account.
Fossil Free is passionate that all research contracts with fossil fuel companies are refused. This move would send a powerful message to polluting industries that their work is no longer supported by universities.
Why fight for divestment?
The major polluting companies, such as BP and Shell, are responsible for sites of environmental damage all across the world.
According to Amnesty UK, Shell’s activities in the Niger Delta have contributed to continuing devastation. Frequent oil spills pollute the rivers, damaging biodiversity and communities who inhabit the area.
As easily accessible oil reserves become increasing scarce, it becomes more economically viable for companies to extract oil using more energy intensive processes. For instance, BP have interests in tar sand reserves in Athabasca, Canada (BP website). Taking bitumen from tar sands uses vast amounts of water. It is left toxic and destroying the environment in polluted lakes.
Removing university money from BP and Shell sends a message to these companies that University of Liverpool does not support their irresponsible use of our planet. This was the incentive to fight for divestment. After their first victory Fossil Free wants further action. It is up to students to shape the next direction the campaign will take.
Email Guild Officer Dylan: Dylan.Uren-Thomson@liverpool.ac.uk