This is a statement by People and Planet Edinburgh and supported by the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, Edinburgh University Marxist Society, Edinburgh University Feminist Society, Bollocks to Poverty Society, Scottish Young Labour, Scottish Labour Young Socialists and Momentum Edinburgh
If Edinburgh University fails to commit to full divestment from arms and fossil fuel companies by Friday 31st March, we will take further action.
Today we are taking action in response to Edinburgh’s continued investments in the fossil fuel and arms industries. After a major occupation of Charles Stewart House, Edinburgh University withdrew its investments in coal and tar sands companies. However, the University has willfully ignored the rest of its unethical investments in weapons, oil and gas. As of November 2015, over six million pounds remain invested in these industries, legitimising the practice of profiting from the deaths, present and future, of some of the most vulnerable peoples in the world. Collectively, we must draw the red lines which Edinburgh cannot cross.
The first red line is the 2℃ temperature rise which which we must avoid in order to stop catastrophic climate change. To do this, we cannot burn 80% of known fossil fuel reserves, yet this toxic industry persists with its dangerous extraction. This is not simply a matter of emissions. The second red line is that of climate justice, the recognition that climate change is the consequence of resource exploitation and overconsumption by Western colonial powers. We must take action to rectify this historical injustice. We stand in solidarity with those living on the frontlines of climate change, such as those in the US whose water has been polluted by fracking, and indigenous communities whose ancestral homes are being destroyed by tar sands extraction.
Importantly we are also students uniting against the marketisation of the education system. When universities put profit before global responsibility it is in the hands of students to take action.
*The companies we have identified as manufacturing arms according to our most recent FOI request are Meggitt PLC and Heico Corp. We are aware that the University’s new investment policy means they are no longer investing in Rolls Royce. For future investments, we require Edinburgh to commit to no longer investing in companies whose turnover is made up of over 5% weapons.
*The companies we have identified as extracting oil and gas are: Apache Corp, BG Group, EOG Resources,Total,EnQuest,Wood Group and Premier Oil PLC. In terms of future investment, we are looking for a commitment to never invest in any company which takes over 5% of its turnover from any fossil fuel.
To show your continued support of the campaign you can email: email@example.com
Tweet the University at @EdinburghUni #DivesttherestEd