Target: Prime Minister David Cameron
Goal: Protect the right of publicly funded institutions to divest from fossil fuels.
The Conservative government of the U.K. recently announced plans to ban divestment by publicly funded organizations based on ethical concerns. The law specifically bans divestment from fossil fuel companies, preventing the divestment of the estimated 19 billion dollars in pension funds invested in the fossil fuel industry. The proposed law, which would cover a diverse array of institutions including universities, local government, public-private partnerships, and museums, will present a huge obstacle for the British divestment campaign. Considering the fact that climate scientists agree on the need for immediate action to mitigate the effects of climate change and prevent future catastrophe, this law presents a threat to us all– the effects of climate change do not respect borders.
Not only will it present a huge legal obstacle to the British divestment campaign, but the law will keep the coffers of fossil fuel companies filled with money that could be invested in the growing global renewable energy sector, preventing people and their local governments from investing in the future. This undermines local democracy as well as the recently signed Paris climate change agreement; the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees cannot be achieved without divestment.
By signing the petition below you will help urge Prime Minister David Cameron to drop plans to restrict the right to divest from the fossil fuel industry, ensuring the minimum number of obstacles for the development of a more sustainable global economy.
Dear Prime Minister Cameron,
The measure proposed on the 16th February 2016 aimed at banning publicly funded institutions and their pension funds from divesting from companies and industries they find unethical must be dropped. Since the measure specifically target fossil fuel divestment, it undermines attempts to combat climate change.
Given the scientific consensus that the majority of fossil fuel stocks must stay in the ground in order for us to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, any law that promotes fossil fuel extraction and maintains investment in the industry is a threat to the environment. Furthermore, the estimated £14 billion in pensions that could be divested could be reinvested in the developing renewable energy sector, helping the U.K. reach the emission goals that it agreed to by signing the Paris Agreement.
I am urging you to reconsider this policy, if not in its entirety then just in respect to the fossil fuel industry. Fossil fuels are destroying our environment and are a huge threat to the future of us all.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Department of Energy and Climate Change UK