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Exclusive: Durham University becomes 62nd UK University to divest from all Fossil Fuels

The University will no longer support the industry through investment


Durham University has become the 62nd University in the UK to confirm it's divestment from all fossil fuels, Durham University People and Planet announced today.

Durham's branch of the nationwide organisation confirmed today that the University joins Edinburgh, Bristol, Sussex, UCL and many others who have pledged to stop investing in and partnering with fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell and BP.

It's been a long time coming but we finally did it, VICTORY!Durham becomes the 62nd UK University to…

Posted by Durham University People & Planet on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The decision comes after a full University-wide consultation, which saw 4 out of 5 respondents supporting divestment. Professor David Cowling, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Arts and Humanities) at Durham University, said today: “The decision to divest from companies involved in fossil fuel extraction is an important one for the University."

“We are committed not only to divestment, but to becoming a major partner in the future development of green energy. The University is proud to be home to the Durham Energy Institute, which is already a leading centre for energy research, and we look forward to building on this work in future.”

President of Durham Students’ Union, Megan Croll, told The Tab: “I think it’s a great achievement that’s been a long time coming but has been worth the effort. It’s a great example of how students and university staff can work together to make incredible change."

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People and Planet is a nationwide student network that aims to "be a force for change in achieving a more equitable and sustainable world". It has had much success in it's national 'Fossil Free' campaign since October 2014, with Universities so far pledging collective divestment of over £10.7bill.

Statistics on People and Planet's website show that Durham previously had over £17,641,870 worth of investments in fossil fuel companies, with a further £465,900 received in donations from the industry between 2009-2014. These donations came from companies including Danish Oil and Natural Gas, BP and Carillion Energy Services.

The Durham pressure group was labelled 'Bizzare' by the Daily Mail in an article titled 'Snowflakes throw a toddler tantrum' earlier this year. The students had taken to the floor in a 'die-in' protest at a University event on 'The Future of Oil and Gas'.

Tara Wight, a former president of Durham University People & Planet during the campaign, said “Following an excessively dragged out bureaucratic process, we are very pleased that the University has finally responded to student pressure and committed to stop financing the fossil fuel industry.”

Current Durham People and Planet Society President, PJ Cameron, said: “Durham People & Planet are moving on from our successful Fossil Free campaign to tackle Undoing Borders, seeking to end the University’s contract with outsourcing company and immigration detention centre operator, Mitie.”