Fossil Free UEA is a coalition of concerned students, staff and UEA alumni
campaigning for our university to sever its ties with the fossil fuel industry,
principally through divesting from stocks and shares held in the top 200 fossil
fuel companies by proven oil, coal and gas reserves.
On the 19th November 2013, an official Fossil Free UEA launch event was held,
attracting nearly seventy people, with a panel discussion featuring two
academics from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, alongside
the student union’s environment officer and a live web link up with a
coordinator of the Fossil Free UCL campaign. On the 21st November, a motion
was passed at Union Council, with 80% in favour, expressing the concern of the
student body ‘that UEA’s investments in the fossil fuel industry undermine its
commitments to tackle change and become an “exemplary low carbon
campus”’, and committing the union to campaigning on this issue. To date, over 1000 students, staff and alumni have signed a petition
calling on the university to divest.
After several rebuttals from the University regarding our proposals, on the 6th March we mobilized people across the country to jam university phone lines and social media in a communications blockade to highlight the importance of the issue.
We have since managed to establish a serious ongoing dialogue on the issue.
During the past year the success of the campaign has been recognized being named one of the European campaigns to watch in 2014 and winning the students union award for campaign of the year 2014.
Fossil Free UEA is part of a broader divestment movement campaigning for a
shift away from fossil fuel extraction. In the UK, divestment campaigns are
being spearheaded by the student network People & Planet, with over 40
universities running active campaigns. Fossil Free was launched in July 2012
by the environmental organisation 350.org, and has expanded rapidly to well
over 400 universities in North America, Europe and Australia.
Since its inception in the USA, 11 colleges and universities have committed to divest,
along with 26 cities, two counties, 30 religious institutions, 27 foundations and
7 other institutions. In the UK, while no university has yet divested, since the
national launch in October 2013, momentum has grown behind the campaign. In March, the decision of the major Australian foundation UniSuper, one of the largest funds of its kind with over 450,000 members, to divest itself of fossil fuel stocks was followed in quick succession by Pitzer College in California pledging to do the same, and on May 7th, Stanford announced that it was to divest its $18.7 billion endowment fund from coal companies, indicating that it may also consider reviewing its oil and gas investments in the future. In the UK, a public letter by ShareAction was submitted calling on the University Superannuation Scheme (USS) to divest, and a preliminary response from Edinburgh University’s Responsible Investment consultation, which received over 200 submissions, indicates that ‘the majority of respondents call for divestment from fossil fuels’
Email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Find us on Twitter at @UEAFossilFree
Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/FossilFreeUEA
Or use the comment box below to ask us a question!