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Fossil Free Warwick intensifies its divestment campaign

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As part of the upcoming Go Green Week 2014, members of Fossil Free Warwick University are encouraging students to join their campaign that calls for divestment from the use of fossil fuels on campus.

Following recent announcements last week that indicate the University of Edinburgh may be the first UK University to invest its £235 million endowment in renewables, this year’s Go Green Week at the University of Warwick will focus on fossil free action.

Hosted by People & Planet, Go Green Week (February 10-16) is a week of action tackling issues of climate change in schools, colleges and universities across the country.

In 2013, 211 institutions backed the cause through campaigns and activities to raise awareness of the climate crisis.

On Fossil Free Friday, which falls on Valentine’s Day, Fossil Free Warwick University are encouraging students and staff to send action cards to the university’s Vice-Chancellors, urging them to ‘break-up’ with the fossil fuel industry.

Along with 311 signatures on a letter to Nigel Thrift calling for a fossil free campus, the group hopes a couple hundred of these action cards will help shed light on this pressing issue.

Commenting on the reasons for this campaign, Theo LeQuesne, a third-year Politics and Sociology student and the Fossil Free Warwick University co-coordinator said:

“Divestment is about creating a public dialogue. When 300 universities across the world decide that they are longer going to put money into the fossil fuel industry, the blame will fall on the industry.”

However, divestment is not properly understood. In simple terms, it is a reduction in asset for financial or political gains – the opposite of an investment.

Some students believe the divestment will have a negative financial impact on the university.

However, Mr LeQuesne said:

“The point of this campaign is not to get the University to stop using fossil fuels overnight. We want to create a message, so that in the long run it is a lot easier for everyone in society to move away from fossil fuel use without the influence of the fossil fuel industry hanging over us.”

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