Wednesday 29-04-2015 - 11:24
Keeping 80 per cent of fossil fuels in the ground is one of the defining social justice issues of our time. Sign the Guardian's petition to make it happen.
Across the UK, we’ve already seen incredible victories on our campuses. The University of Glasgow and the University of Bedfordshire have both divested following pressure from their students.
More recently, SOAS voted to divest just last week, while the ongoing campaign ahead of the decision at the University of Oxford builds more and more momentum.
But we can’t stop at the edges of our campuses. Nobody should be funding climate change.
Our movement needs to be at the forefront of shaping the whole of society, and that’s why we’re huge supporters of the Guardian’s #KeepItInTheGround campaign – calling on the Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust to divest.
Organisations so strongly committed to education and public health shouldn’t be profiting from fossil fuels, and students know this.
Earlier this year, medic student group Healthy Planet were one of the authors of the Unhealthy Investments report – demonstrating how important divestment is from the perspective of public health.Today, an ongoing campaign at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is making the link even stronger, and demonstrating the reasons why institutions like the Wellcome Trust have a duty to divest.
“Research carried out by reputed health professionals at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has repeatedly called attention to the potentially devastating effects of climate change for health”, explains campaigner Soledad Cuevas.
“Climate change will increasingly affect health directly through extreme weather events, rises in sea levels and changes in rainfall and temperature”.
“Additionally, there are large indirect effects. For example, shortfalls in water will increase the risk of water-borne disease, and crops will also be increasingly affected, leading to malnutrition and conflict”
Suddenly, you can see why climate change is a massive public health issue. That’s why campaigners at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine strongly support the call for the Wellcome Trust to divest.
“The Guardian’s initiative and coverage of this issue has already been effective in starting a constructive conversation about the issue of investments in fossil fuel companies”, explains student Alice Munro.
“The Wellcome Trust, for the moment, has not agreed to divest, but has critically and constructively engaged in the debate, which is already a step”.
We can take a step further if we ramp up the pressure.
While the campaigns on our campuses continue to win massive victories, we can think even bigger. We can shape a world where nobody funds climate change.
Sign the petition and demand that some of our biggest institutions to pull their money out of fossil fuels.