The Student’s front page article on the ethical investment campaign!
Our campaign was launched earlier this year when a group of people from People & Planet, having been working on Responsible Investment for some time, and after an open meeting to decide our priorities, took a motion to EUSA’s external council. This motion was passed unanimously, and VPS Max Crema has since been working tirelessly to represent our views to the university. Meanwhile, we have held a debate and launched a petition!
The campaign continues! Join us!
Should EUSA lobby the university to immediately cease all new investment in arms and fossil fuels, and invest at least 25% of its endowment in an ethical fund manager?
In today’s world, what we do with our money has important ramifications. The University of Edinburgh claims to have been “influencing the world since 1583” – but the question is, in what way? Universities should be about socially useful innovation, but many of the university’s £250 million plus of investments are in harmful technologies and industries. Companies include Ultra Electronics, a manufacturer of components for military drones, and many fossil fuel companies, including Shell and Total, both oil companies with poor human rights records.
Drones are terrorising civilian populations in country’s such as Pakistan, and their use is being investigated by the UN as a possible war crime. Fossil fuels are the major cause of anthropogenic climate change, and are estimated to be responsible for up to 300,000 deaths each year (Global Humanitarian Forum, 2009). And fossil fuel companies, at a conservative estimate, have reserves large enough that if they are burnt they will condemn us to catastrophic climate change – in fact, using only a fifth of these reserves will push us over the limit (Rolling Stones, Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math). At least 80% of these reserves need to be left in the ground.
The university must not support these industries through its investments. It is detrimental to the image of the University, contradictory to its principles, and immoral – causing suffering to many without the ability to protest.
Vote yes to responsible investment. Go to investethically.wordpress.com to join the campaign today or find out more.
As a democratic institution the university should foster open debate and use its resources responsibly and with concern for the wider world.
The university has over £200 million of investments; many of these were donations to the university, and it should be careful to use them well.
It has already had a policy on ethical investment since 2003 but it has not been implemented effectively; we believe a review open to all members of the university will allow it to be strengthened.
Ethical investments can be done while remaining profitable; there are many ethical companies out there that offer good returns and are in need of investors.
So get involved and vote YES! to the motion next week!