The University of Stirling and Students’ Union have joined forces to mark the institution’s commitment to not invest in fossil fuel companies. The development, in line with Stirling’s long-standing socially responsible investment policy, helps the University ensure it continues to embed sustainability at the core of its business practices.
Since May 2018, the Students’ Union has been working hard to campaign for the University of Stirling to disclose its financial investments and for the removal of any fossil fuel investments from its portfolio. We’re pleased to announce that the hard work has been successful! We now join 71 other universities across the UK and 2 in Ireland that have committed to removing fossil fuel investments, ensuring that, collectively, £11 billion of potential investment capital is not invested in fossil fuels. All this work came from your feedback to last year’s Sustainability Skills Survey – thank you!
Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “We’ve always taken our commitment to environmental sustainability seriously – both on our campus and around the world. For instance, our Combined Heat and Power Plant, introduced in 2014, provides most of our electricity and heating – while dramatically reducing our carbon footprint – and we’ve taken major strides in reducing the amount of waste generated by the University."
Astrid Smallenbroek, Students’ Union President, said: “With the Students’ Union’s continuing focus and commitment to sustainability, we are incredibly pleased to see the University taking action as a direct result of student feedback.”
Why the need to remove fossil fuel investments?
In order to stave off catastrophic effects of climate change, it is generally accepted that globally we need to limit warming to 1.5oC. The latest Special Report (October 2018) from Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change identifies that human activities are estimated to have caused 1oC of global warming since pre-industrial levels. Global warming is also likely to reach 1.5oC between 2030-2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.
The fossil fuel industry is unequivocally driving us towards a global climate crisis and we will not keep dangerous climate change at bay without halting our extraction of fossil-fuels. In order to meet the challenges of a zero-carbon future, society needs to radically change how we produce and use energy. The removal of the University’s fossil fuel investments signals a key shift in the journey towards a more sustainable and equitable society.