Why I’m Occupying- Beth

14 May

The University’s refusal to divest from fossil fuels is yet another demonstration of their continued prioritisation of profit over the concerns of students, staff, and the wider community.  In their decision to continue investing in the fossil fuel industry, the University Court stand high on their privileged platform and ignore the millions across the world who will suffer the most from climate catastrophe.

We need urgent commitment to full divestment. Instead, the decision of the University Court, as emailed to all students on Monday, was a weak half-hearted statement centred on a commitment “to work with companies to reduce their emissions”. This is fundamentally flawed. Engaging with companies, continuing to finance the destructive practices of coal and tar sands companies under the pretence that improvement is possible is not good enough. Negotiating with Shell won’t mean that they stop extracting fossil fuels even if they do invest in the odd solar panel; the University should not be able to use ‘engagement’ as an excuse for avoiding taking a decisive political action.

We’re here in the hope that our immediate demands – that the University must commit to unconditional divestment from coal and tar sands – will be met. The University must use its power productively and add its voice to the global call to divestment. The campaign for full divestment from fossil fuels and arms will continue should this compromised demand be met.

Show your support to the occupation by emailing (principal@ed.ac.uk)/shouting/sharing/letting the university know as publicly as possible that this fight is not going to fade until they make a commitment to divest from the toxic world of fossil fuels.

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