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:
- The University of York announced full divestment from fossil fuels.
- University College London fully divested their endowments, totaling £21 million pulled out of the fossil fuel industry
- That means 50% of UK universitiess now have some divestment commitment, and most are full commitments. Here’s a full list.
🥳 @ucl has divested from all fossil fuels!! Inspiring work by the campaigners at @FossilFreeUCL , who have been escalating in the past years following a partial announcement! ✊✊ https://t.co/6nNmh2Us7R pic.twitter.com/YP0USw3Kwb
— People & Planet (@peopleandplanet) October 17, 2019
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.
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.
🎉BREAKING: 300 MPs support #DivestParliament!
— Divest Parliament (@MP_Divest) October 22, 2019
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.
Thanks to Julia Peck of The Cambridge Zero Carbon Society for supplying much of this news.