Press Release: NUS goes Fossil Free

15th May 2014


On 13th May 2014, the National Union of Students (NUS), representing over 7 million students, voted in favour of endorsing the Fossil Free divestment campaign calling on UK universities to divest from the fossil fuel industry. The global campaign has already been backed by eminent leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu. By passing the motion, the NUS resolves to work with student unions to support Fossil Free campaigns and to minimise the ‘greenwashing’ of the fossil fuel industry on university campuses (sponsorship, donations, and support). Just as importantly, the NUS has also resolved to divest any of its own investments in the fossil fuel industry.

In light of CUSU’s own commitment to pressuring the university and colleges to pursue low-carbon assets, and following a strong CUSU Council vote in favour, CUSU co-submitted this motion to the NUS national conference alongside Middlesbrough College, Dudley College, NUS Black Students’ Committee, Gateshead College Students’ Union, and University College London Union.

Suyin Chalmin-Pui, former co-chair of CUSU Ethical Affairs, is “very pleased that the NUS now recognises the need for an explicit ethical investment policy, as well as the importance of divesting any of its own investments in the fossil fuel industry. Positive Investment Cambridge is particularly proud to have proposed this motion and is looking forward to continued collaboration and knowledge-sharing with ethical investment campaigns across UK student unions.”

An active member of Positive Investment Cambridge, Lily Tomson explained that “with successes such as Stanford University (which recently divested its $18.7bn endowment from coal), Norway, the Church of England, and hundreds of others, by endorsing fossil fuel divestment the NUS has stepped into a big crowd.”


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