The move aligns the university with a campaign by People & Planet for universities across the UK to sign a Fossil Free Declaration. People & Planet is a student-inspired campaign network for social and environmental justice, working in partnership with the National Union for Students. Specifically, the university has declared that it holds no direct investments in extractor fossil fuel companies, and will never directly invest in these companies.
Mike Bewlock, the university's Director of Finance, said: “I am delighted that the university has made this commitment and is furthering our ethical investment practices. The declaration is in line with us announcing a Climate Emergency in January 2020 and is consistent with our ambitious target, set out in our strategic programme Brighton 2025, to reduce our carbon emissions to 4000tC02e, by 2025.”
The fossil fuel industry is a leading contributor to climate change, with just 100 companies estimated to be responsible for around 70% of global carbon emissions. Brighton's fossil free investment declaration was made in a letter which has been integrated into the university’s ethical investment policy as part of our four core values: sustainability; inclusivity; creativity; and partnership.
Sihem Ziada, President of Brighton Students' Union, added: “We are delighted that the university have now signed this declaration. We will continue to work closely with them on trying to improve all areas of sustainability.”