Fossil Free Hudds Uni – please sign the Open Letter

Fossil Free Huddersfield University logo

The Fossil Free Huddersfield University campaign is calling on Huddersfield University to take a strong stand on climate change by going Fossil Free and making a commitment to divest from fossil fuel investments on behalf of its students, staff and the local community.

Specifically, the campaign is asking the University of Huddersfield to:
• Screen for and exclude fossil fuels any investments from their investment portfolio within a year.
• Commit to refusing any future investment in fossil fuel companies.
• Strengthen and adhere to the university’s ethical investment policy.

Please find below the text of an Open Letter for staff at the University of Huddersfield to sign, which has been delivered to the  Vice Chancellor and University Council.   If you work for Huddersfield University and would like to add your name to the Open Letter, please fill in the form at the bottom of this page.

Text of OPEN LETTER to the Vice Chancellor & University Council, Huddersfield University

As members of staff at the University of Huddersfield we are writing to express our personal support for the Fossil Free Huddersfield University campaign. The campaign has support from a wide base of students, alumni, staff and local residents. As an academic institution committed to scientific and intellectual rigour, it behoves us to respond to the evidence from the global climate scientific community and to offer the necessary forward-thinking climate leadership.

We are encouraged by the commitments the University has already made towards Sustainability especially regarding the University’s Ethical Investment policy:  “The University will not invest directly into organisations whose values do not reflect those of the University in regard to social, environmental and humanitarian concern. These would for example include but not be limited to: human rights abuse; discrimination on grounds of race, gender, disability, age or religion; serious and persistent environmental damage; arms trading”. We welcome the University’s recent public statement on its fossil fuel investments, clarifying the University’s position regarding the current screening of its investments for fossil fuels.

The UK Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry Nick Hurd recently stated in Parliament that ’70-75% of known fossil fuels must be left unused, in order to have a 50% chance of limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees’. The futures of our student population and, indeed, everyone on the planet depend on a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.  It clearly does not makes good financial or ethical sense for Huddersfield University to have financial links with companies which are trying to extract even more unburnable oil, coal and gas. We therefore believe that Huddersfield University should sign the Fossil Free Declaration, making a public Fossil Free commitment which commits the University to refusing any future investment in fossil fuel companies.

We fully support and encourage the University’s commitments to reducing its own carbon emissions. However, in parallel with that we advocate that the University makes a clear public divestment commitment that it does not support the fossil fuel industry. The need for urgent action is clear. The climate crisis requires action on all fronts including: using our research and teaching to inform and enable change, reducing the University’s own carbon emissions, and making a public Fossil Free commitment by signing the Fossil Free Declaration. We very much hope the University management will come to the same view.

Please add your name to the Open Letter

To add your name to the letter, please complete the form below. If you have any questions or need more information, please email huddersfieldfoe@yahoo.co.uk:

 

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