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To: Utrecht University Board of Directors

Utrecht University: Go Fossil Free!

Utrecht University: Go Fossil Free!

Firstly, we call on Utrecht University and its Board of Directors to provide adequate transparency about its direct and indirect investments in the fossil fuel industry and the risk this poses for its students and employees.
Secondly, if these types of investment are found, we ask to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. Indeed, we also believe that Utrecht University has a moral responsibility to readdress fossil fuel divestment within institutions such as the pension fund ABP and Rabobank.
Last, but not least, we demand our institution to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies and demand the freezing of indirect investments at for example ABP.

We ask the Board of Directors to publicly declare their intention to become Fossil Free and take the steps mentioned above. We believe that such actions on will not only be crucial for our institution’s financial portfolio, but most importantly, for the well being of its current and future students.

Sign this petition and support making the University the responsible institution it aims and claims to be.

Why is this important?

Utrecht University facilitates some of the best research institutes on sustainable development and climate change in the world, and supplies its students with top-ranking education on the topics. Additionally, it opened the Green Office Utrecht in 2013 to create a platform for students and staff where sustainable ideas are shaped, plans are put together, and projects are launched; all with the objective of making the University more sustainable.

Yet Utrecht University and its employees are still contributing to climate change indirectly. Utrecht University invests in the fossil fuel industry indirectly through Rabobank, and its staff and faculty do so through the pension fund ABP, which holds over 33 million euro in fossil fuel investments, in companies in like Shell. Investments in fossil fuel companies are morally wrong, because they endanger the future of people and our planet and block the transition to a sustainable energy network.

These investments are not only unethical, but also risky. To achieve the UN’s target of keeping global temperature rise below 2°C, around 80% of the fossil fuel reserves currently mapped can never be burnt. Leading research warns of the ‘Carbon Bubble’, much like the Dot-Com Bubble of the 90s, where fossil fuel investments will quickly lose their value as a result of global climate change policy. The ‘Carbon Bubble’ poses a risk for the University’s financial health and that of its employees’ pensions.

Utrecht University, Domplein, Utrecht, Netherlands

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • Universities should be at the forefront of movements for change - the UU is no exception, and it must serve as an example for the possibility of a fossil free institution!
  • Universities that develop knowledge and insights to ameliorate global problems can't look the other way when asked to implement those insights themselves. They should experiment and lead by example.
  • Cuz these issues don't get the attention they deserve

Updates

2015-02-08 06:42:09 -0500

100 signatures reached

2015-02-06 14:47:13 -0500

50 signatures reached

2015-02-06 05:55:35 -0500

25 signatures reached

2015-02-05 12:20:54 -0500

10 signatures reached