NUI Galway Students Demand Divestment of University Fossil Fuel Shares

NUI Galway Students Demand Divestment of University Fossil Fuel Shares

News & Events

NUI Galway Students Demand Divestment of University Fossil Fuel Shares

On Tuesday the 22nd of November, students from the Climate Change, Agriculture & Food Security (CCAFS) Society of NUI Galway will present a petition of over 1,000 signatures to University President, Dr Jim Browne. The CCAFS society have recently published a report on their findings with regards to fossil fuel investments in the University, highlighting the €3.4 million worth of shares that NUI Galway has invested in companies such as Gazprom and Statoil.

NUI Galway, a bastion of sustainability research and development, directly funds fossil fuel companies. These companies are responsible, in no small part, for the climate challenges we face today. Considering the fact that 80% of fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground in order to avoid catastrophic climate change, coupled with the fact that fossil fuel assets will soon become stranded, the students of NUI Galway have taken the initiative and demanded change. So far their efforts have fallen on deaf ears, but the CCAFS society are hopeful that the constructive way in which they have approached the issue will encourage the University to engage in negotiation on the issue.

The students began the campaign a year ago, and have been working ever since to engage with the University.

Auditor of the CCAFS Society, and Director of the Fossil Free Campaign, Colm Duffy, highlighted why it is important for NUI Galway to take the lead among Irish Universities on this issue:

“If it is wrong to wreck the planet, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. Our University has praised the efforts of its researchers in their work on sustainability, and rightly so. However, it is hypocritical to, on the one hand, seek to be a global leader in sustainability, and on the other directly fund the efforts of fossil fuel companies. There is a real opportunity for NUI Galway to take the lead here, and possibly start a cascade effect among Irish Universities”.

NUI Galway Students’ Union fully support the campaign for divestment.

Students’ Union President Jimmy McGovern added:

“NUI Galway Students’ Union support the demands for NUI Galway to divest from fossil fuels. Our unique campus is home to some of the most educated minds in our society, and with that education should come civic and social responsibility, and leadership in social change. Our University must lead by example in working toward the betterment of our environment and planet. We encourage all students and staff to engage with this campaign.”

Should you like to get further information, or view the NUIG Fossil Free report, please contact:

Colm Duffy

Auditor CCAFS Society

086 275 8527

Full Report here

Artice by
Lorna Shanley