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Reference code: 
UP1231
Status: 
Lapsed
Date passed: 
19/03/2013
Date lapses: 
18/03/2015
PDF file: 
Text file: 

This Union Notes:

  1. That UCL has investments in BG Group PLC, BHP Billiton, BP PLC, Cairn Energy PLC, Gazprom OAO, Occidental Petroleum Corp, Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Total S.A. and Xstrata PLC.1
  2. That the aforementioned companies are part of the world’s 200 largest fossil fuel companies, by proven carbon reserves.2
  3. That over 200 groups across North America have launched a petition or campaign for their higher education institution to divest from the fossil fuel industry as part of the campaign ‘Go Fossil Free’ which launched in late 2012.3
  4. That 4 higher education institutions in the United States (Unity College, Sterling College, Santa Fe Art institute and Hampshire College), in addition to the City of Seattle, have committed to divesting from fossil fuels.4
  5. That UCL has already committed to not invest in tobacco.5
  6. That in 2009 the Disarm UCL campaign succeeded in getting UCL to divest its shares in Cobham PLC.6
  7. That UCL’s guiding principles state that ‘UCL will conduct itself ethically and fairly, and in an environmentally sustainable manner, locally, nationally and globally’.7
  8. That UCL has an Ethical Investment Review Committee, an Ethics Committee, and an Investment Policy that largely focuses on ethical considerations.
  9. That People & Planet has democratically chosen to focus their campaigning efforts on starting up the Fossil Free campaign in the UK, launching in Autumn 2013.8

1 UCL Investment Portfolio, December 2012.

2 http://www.carbontracker.org/w… , p.13-14.

3 http://gofossilfree.org/campai…

4 http://gofossilfree.org/victory/

5 http://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/f…

6 http://disarmucl.blogspot.co.uk/

7 http://www.ucl.ac.uk/white-pap…

8 http://peopleandplanet.org/fos…

9 http://daraint.org/climate-vul…

This Union Believes:

  1. That anthropogenic climate change is already responsible for loss of life and livelihood across the planet and that it has the potential to have a devastating impact on human society and our natural environment.9

  2. That the fossil fuel industry, by extracting, processing, promoting and facilitating the use of, selling and profiting from fossil fuels, as well as by having a major influence on government policy, is complicit in causing climate change and its catastrophic impacts.

  3. As a global university and a world-leading institution, UCL should be taking the lead in ensuring it does not contribute to causing climate change and thus that its investment portfolio does not support the fossil fuel industry.
  4. That UCL has the potential to be one of the first higher education institutions in Europe to commit to going fossil free.
  5. That UCL’s commitment to ethics and sustainability, and that the strong ecological and ethical principles that research of its academics’ argues for, should extend to its investment portfolio.

This Union Resolves:

  1. For the EEOO, ECO, and EEO to coordinate and put resources toward a high-profile Fossil Free campaign around fossil fuel divestment on campus, including the dissemination of information about UCL’s investments and the companies they fund.
  2. For the EEOO, ECO, and EEO to lobby the university to end all future investments in fossil fuel companies.
  3. To mandate the EEOO, ECO, and EEO to lobby the university to divest from fossil fuel companies immediately.
  4. For the EEOO, ECO, and EEO to undertake a comprehensive analysis of UCL’s investment portfolio, identifying direct and indirect investments in the fossil fuel industry.
  5. To mandate the EEOO to request quarterly updates of UCL’s investment portfolio.
  6. To mandate the EEOO, ECO, and EEO to write and submit a request to the Ethical Investment Review Committee to review UCL’s stocks invested in the fossil fuel industry, and for the EEOO or EEO to be the student representative on this committee.
  7. To mandate the EEOO to write and submit a request to the UCL Ethics Committee for the EEOO and/or EEO to be the student representative(s) on this committee.
  8. To mandate the EEOO to write and submit a request to either the UCL Ethics Committee or the Ethical Investment Review Committee to review point 6 in UCL’s Investment Policy on the grounds that it will block the divestment from fossil fuel companies.10
  9. To mandate the EEOO, ECO, and EEO to actively work with People & Planet and other external organisations involved in fossil fuel divestment and related campaigns.
  10. To support and encourage other student unions to submit similar policies and launch their own Fossil Free campaigns.

10 ‘UCL will not exclude investment in sectors from which it accepts funding for research. However, a determination might be made against investing in a particular business within such a sector on ethical grounds - relating to particular products or services, or particular practices or particular customers of that business.’