Fossil-Free Investments

by Cathy Olphin 04 June 2019, 12:28

Category: Environmental

Voting closed

1 Dislikes

We Note:

  • With the 2018 IPCC report revealing that we have less than 12 years to prevent catastrophic climatic events, it is evident that continued fossil fuel extraction and combustion must be stopped as soon as possible. The United Nations recently published a report revealing that extinction rate is at its highest in human history, noting the fossil fuel industry’s involvement in this.

  • The national divestment effort has witnessed huge successes, with 76 universities nationwide divesting over £12 billion from the fossil fuel industry. Globally over $6 trillion has been divested.

  • Renewable energy generation has increased every year without exception from 2001. It has now shown to be a profitable venture even without subsidisation with the first major non-subsidised solar farm opening in 2017.

  • Lancaster City Council recently became one of the first nationwide to declare a national emergency, highlighting local community interest in environmental practices.

  • Lancaster University’s investment portfolio appears to show no investments in the fossil fuel industry in 2018, instead investing in alternatives such as renewable energy.


We Believe:

  • Lancaster University prides itself on being an environmentally progressive institution, highlighted by Lancaster University Students’ Union’s recent Environmental Sustainability Policy. A declaration to end investment in fossil fuels will build on this progress and signpost it to the nation.

  • The ‘Fossil-Free’ movement has gained significant traction nationwide, with high-ranking universities including Cambridge, Oxford and Durham agreeing to divest from fossil fuel industries. Lancaster University deserves to be part of this movement.

  • Lancaster University’s current investment portfolio is commendable and should be maintained throughout future years.

  • The rich expertise present within Lancaster University’s staff puts it in a favourable position to make effective decisions regarding ethical investment.


Proposed Resolutions

  1. Lancaster University Students’ Union publicly declares its stance in support of university-wide fossil-free investment.

  2. Lancaster University Students’ Union commits to representing student voice in support of fossil-free investment at University Council meetings, actively lobbying them to implement permanent fossil-free investments as soon as possible, and by all means before the end of 2020/2021 academic year.

  3. Lancaster University Students’ Union commits to permanently adopting fossil-free investments as soon as possible, and by all means before the end of the 2020/2021 academic year.

  4. Involvement of a student working group with University Council discussions and decision-making processes regarding Lancaster University’s investments in the fossil fuel sector.