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Students Push Divestment in UK: 'It's Time to Break Up With Fossil Fuel Industry'

#FossilFreeFriday day of action sweeps UK as youth sound alarm on climate crisis

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Students across the UK demanded that their colleges and universities divest from the fossil fuel industry in a Valentine's Day of Action to curb the climate crisis.(Image: People and Planet)

At over 40 campuses across the UK, including Oxford, Glasgow, and Leeds, students pulled off rallies and creative actions to urge their schools to join the global divestment movement. This included a sit-in at the student union of Hull University, as well as a public display of over 1,000 signatures on a divestment petition at Glasgow University.

“Today we gave our petition of more than 1380 signatures to the University Secretary asking for divestment from both the fossil fuel and arms industries," said Hannah Roques, a campaigner from University of Edinburgh People & Planet. "We also gave Valentine’s Day’s cards with poems inside asking that the University break up with the fossil fuel industry as we don’t think this relationship is working out.”

The Friday events are part of Go Green Week, aimed at raising awareness and sparking action to curb the climate crisis.

In an open letter and petition to "Every Vice-Chancellor and member of Universities" students write:

We believe that investing in fossil fuel companies runs completely counter to the strong commitments made by all UK Vice-Chancellors to reduce the Higher Education sector’s climate impacts. However, UK universities still invest over £5.2 billion in the very companies doing most to cause the climate crisis.

We believe that not only are these investments financially unsound due to the looming ‘carbon bubble’ crisis, but also that it is deeply immoral and hypocritical to profit from those knowingly destroying a safe future for us all.

So far, Edinburgh and Glasgow universities are the only ones that have agreed to reconsider their investments in the fossil fuels industry, the Guardian reports.

Commentary and reports from the day of action were being published on Twitter by those using the hashtag #FossilFuelFree:

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