NUI Galway President commits to Fossil Fuel Divestment

NUI Galway President commits to Fossil Fuel Divestment

News & Events

NUI Galway President commits to Fossil Fuel Divestment

On Wednesday the 30th of November, students from the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Society of NUI Galway, along with the Students’ Union President, Jimmy McGovern, met with NUI Galway President, Dr James Browne, to discuss the divestment of €3.4 million worth of fossil fuel shares held by NUI Galway. Dr Browne applauded the efforts made by the CCAFS Society in highlighting and engaging with the university on the issue, indicating that he is committed to the divestment of fossil fuel shares.

In early November 2016, the CCAFS society submitted a petition of over 1,000 signatures, and a report highlighting the case for divestment of the €3.4 million worth of shares that NUI Galway has invested in companies such as Gazprom and Statoil. Dr Browne welcomed the report, and acknowledged that divestment of these fossil fuel shares is in line with the values held by NUI Galway with regard to sustainability. In pledging his support Dr Browne also indicated that he had spoken to a number of staff and students on the matter, and feels there is a real appetite for divestment. A motion for divestment will be tabled early in the New Year, which will seek full divestment of fossil fuel shares, and the implementation of an ethical investment policy.

Colm Duffy, Auditor of the CCAFS Society and Director of the Fossil Free Campaign was delighted with a significant and positive step towards divestment:

We are thrilled with the response so far from Dr Browne, and see today’s result as a significant step towards divestment. We are looking forward to announcing NUI Galway’s commitment to divestment, and implementation of an ethical investment policy in February. We are hopeful that successes here, and in Trinity College, are the beginning of a cascade effect among Irish Universities.”

Following the meeting with CCAFS, Dr Browne congratulated the student society and the Students’ Union for its commitment to the issue of fossil fuel divestment saying:

“It is important for students to consider their role as global citizens who will shape our planet’s future.  By advocating for an ethical policy on institutional investment, the CCAFS society and the Students’ Union leadership are highlighting an important global issue which impacts on climate change, social equity and a range of important ethical issues today.  I look forward to working with our students to promote a transparent and ethical investment policy at NUI Galway, including fossil fuel divestment.”

Pictured are (left to right): Jimmy McGovern (NUI Galway Students’ Union President); Hazel Wolstenholme (CCAFS); Dr James Browne (NUI Galway President); Colm Duffy (Auditor CCAFS); Aoife Kervic (CCAFS); & Brendan Hallahan (CCAFS).


Should you like to get further information please contact:

Colm Duffy Auditor CCAFS Society

086 275 8527

Artice by
Joanna Brophy