The University of Sussex currently holds £8 million worth of investments in a number of companies, with roughly 5% of this total in fossil fuel exploration companies such as Shell, BP and Rio Tinto and we demand that our university divests this money immediately.
The Fossil Fuel industry is a key contributor to carbon emissions, and growing evidence suggests that only a fraction of these companies’ reserves may be extracted and burned whilst maintaining a 2°C climatic warming target.
As it stands, the University considers its investment portfolio ethical, in that it does not include arms manufacturers, gambling or tobacco companies. However, an investment in fossil fuels should not be considered an ethical investment, assuming that protecting the environment and mitigating climate change is an ethic we choose to hold dear.
We believe that it is vital that the University establishes its own Ethical Investment policy to ensure that it makes sound, responsible investments in line with its role as a charity that is meant to serve the public good.
We demand The University of Sussex to:
1. Establish a publicly available Ethical Investment Policy and ensure that all investments are transparent, accountable and in line with the University’s other ethical and environmental standards.
2. Move its money: divest from companies which threaten the environment, and actively commit to investing further in low-carbon assets and renewable energy within the next five years.
3. Help build a sustainable future for its students and future generations, by phasing out any sponsorship or funding provided by fossil fuel companies, agreeing not to award honorary degrees to members of the fossil fuel industry, and reconsidering the representation of fossil fuel companies at University careers events.
Fossil Free Campaign Sussex
Please support us by joining us on Facebook at Fossil Free Campaign Sussex and signing our petition at – https://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/sussex-university-ethical-investment-campaign