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Our freedom of information requests into fossil fuels

Wednesday 09-09-2015 - 16:06

A few words from Piers Telemacque vice president for society and citizenship on the FOIs we've sent out regarding fossil fuels.

We just wanted to make sure everyone was up to speed on the freedom of information requests we’ve issued to further and higher institutions, as part of our work to constructively build on the momentum of the fossil fuel divestment movement, and take it even further.

We want to build a positive resistence to the government's anti-renewables rhetoric. If they won't champion renewables, we'll have to do it instead.

NEC has passed policy to take action on divestment, and so we’ve issued two rounds of FOIs to all 600 higher and further education institutions across the UK, to help shape our sustainability work over the years ahead - and launch a campaign to promote renewables across our education sector.

The first wave – issued a few weeks ago – will find out exactly how much money our institutions have invested in the fossil fuel industry. The second wave – issued this week – looks into what interests the fossil fuel industry have in our education system, from scholarships to research grants and pension funds and the like.

This isn't to name and shame anybody. It's about getting a full picture of the state of investments across the sector, so we can best identify our opportunities to move money into renewable energy and give the industry the support it needs. 

We’ll be publishing our findings around the time of the UN climate talks this December, and we’ll be driving a huge push for investment in renewable energy. This is our chance to use the global platform of COP21 to become a beacon of good practice for the entire world. We can be global leaders on the renewables agenda at a time when it's never been more important.

As ever, please let us know if you have any questions, or want into feed into our plans as we develop them over the coming months. I hope you’re as excited as me about what our education sector can do for renewables and social justice in the years ahead.

You can read the first FOI here, and the second here.

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