Edinburgh University People & Planet Society met with Sarah Smith, the University Secretary and Head of Student and Academic Services, at 11.30am Friday 14th of February to hand over a 1,390 signature-strong petition calling on the University of Edinburgh to divest from fossil fuels.
Over 700 University of Edinburgh students signed the petition that stated:
“We want the University of Edinburgh to create a robust responsible investment policy that screens out fossil fuels and the arms trade, and makes the investment process more responsible, accountable and democratic.”
The rest of the signatures came from university staff, students, alumni and concerned members of the public.
Members of People & Planet handed over a Valentine’s Day cards to Sarah Smith, that held messages calling on the University of Edinburgh to “break-up with the fossil fuel industry” by divesting its £285 million Endowment Fund from fossil fuel companies.
Sarah Smith welcomed the petition and thanked People & Planet, stating that the “University of Edinburgh is currently going through a consultation over its investment policy”. She also stressed that the University of Edinburgh was the first European University / second globally to sign up to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment.
Students, staff and Edinburgh citizens can submit their responses to the consultation on the University’s Edinburgh Sustainability website. The consultation runs to 7th March 2014.
The national People & Planet student network is working with 350.org on the Fossil Free campaign that calls for public and private institutions to break their links with fossil fuel companies in an effort to stop catastrophic climate change.