Keep calm and carry on (divesting)
It’s Tuesday, April 28, and the University of Oxford is saying goodbye to fossil fuels.
After years of student protests and sit-ins, the University of Oxford has promised to divest its $3.7 billion endowment from fossil fuel companies. The 900-year-old university also vowed to restrict future investments to companies that have plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions.
Pressure for divestment has been growing at Oxford for many years. Earlier this year, student protestors camped out in the central quad of St. John’s College (one of the university’s 39 constituent colleges), to protest its $10 million investments in BP and Shell.
In Oxford, students who had spent years demonstrating against fossil fuels celebrated. Anna Olerinyova, a member of the Oxford Climate Justice Campaign, told the BBC, “We hope the message from Oxford to the world is clear; listen to the science, prepare for the future, and ditch fossil fuels.”
The campus divestment movement scored a smaller victory across the pond last week: Harvard University announced that it will aim to achieve a net-zero endowment by 2050, though it stopped short of formally vowing to divest from oil, gas, and coal companies.
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