Since the global climate strikes — the youth-led wave of protests that saw 7.6 million people on the streets calling for real climate action — local activists have kept pushing for justice and for a fossil free future. And they’ve hit some remarkable milestones.

Here’s the big news from the UK:

University divestment commitments:

UK cultural institutions: 

Royal Shakespeare Company ended their sponsorship deal with BP and the National Theatre has ended theirs with Shell. It happened thanks to years of theatrical direct actions by activist group BP or Not BP, and direct pressure from  youth strikers saying that their generation won’t be patrons of art institutions if they’re funded by fossil fuels.

BP is banished from the RSC. Photo by Diana More.

Parliament push:

Just last week, 300 Members of Parliament across political parties publicly demanded the MP Pension Fund divest from all fossil fuels. The fund’s largest single holding is £11.6 million of shares in BP Plc, and it also holds £10.9 million in Royal Dutch Shell. If the trustees agree to the MPs’ demands it will be a powerful boost for the global movement.

Beyond university divestment: 

The Cambridge Zero Carbon Society just published a new report and set of demands about the entanglement of Cambridge University with fossil fuel companies.

And it goes beyond investments of its endowment. The university also supports and legitimises the destructive practices of the fossil fuel industry through extractive research, by acting as a platform for their greenwashing, and creating a revolving door for fossil fuel executives and university officials.

The Cambridge Zero Carbon Society and Oxford Climate Justice Campaign have held several direct actions to disrupt career recruitment events by fossil fuel companies, and demand that the fossil fuel industry’s free reign in their place of learning come to an end.

The Cambridge Zero Carbon Society blockades the BP Institute and CASP at Cambridge, in response to the findings of their recent report. Pic: Cambridge Zero Carbon Society on Facebook.

Thanks to Julia Peck of The Cambridge Zero Carbon Society for supplying much of this news.

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