Fossil Fuel Divestment
The Glasgow University Climate Action Society brought a motion to the SRC to lobby the University to divest from fossil fuel industry companies.
The University of Glasgow has an endowment which, as of July 31st 2013, totalled £130 million, including investment in fossil fuel companies including Shell, BP, Chevron, Billiton, and Centrica currently totalling at least £19 million. These investments undermine the University’s commitment to tackling climate change and reducing its carbon emissions by 80% by the year 2050.
SRC Council passed a motion on the 5th of December 2013 resolving to:
- To support a high profile Fossil Free campaign around fossil fuel divestment on campus, including the dissemination of information about the University of Glasgow’s investments and the companies it invests in.
- To lobby the university to divest from fossil fuel industry companies.
- To lobby the Careers Service for the increased provision of ethical careers advice.
- To work with the Climate Action Society, People & Planet and other external organisations involved in fossil fuel divestment and related campaigns.
Since this motion as passed, the SRC have lobbied University Court to reconsider this investment under the University’s Policy on Socially Responsible Investment (www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_130480_en.rtf). In line with this policy, Court has set up an Investment Advisory Committee who will consider whether this investment is contrary to the University’s value systems and the financial implications of divestment. This group will then make a recommendation to Court. This group includes an SRC representative on Court.
Glasgow University Climate Action Society held a panel discussion titled “Should universities invest in the fossil fuel industry?” on the 24th of February. Speakers at this event included Professor Andrew Cumbers, Dr Catherine Happer, Professor Paul Younger and Patrick Harvie MSP. The SRC supported and promoted this event.