University of Edinburgh students protest fossil fuel use

STUDENT protestors at University of Edinburgh are occupying one of its buildings to protest the university's use of fossil fuels.

The protesters want the university to cut down its use of fossil fuels Picture: People & Planet Edinburgh
The protesters want the university to cut down its use of fossil fuels Picture: People & Planet Edinburgh

The protest, started on Monday, has attracted around 20 protesters in Charles Stewart House on Chambers Street.

The group running the protest are part of the People and Planet movement, who released a short statement, saying: “We are occupying Charles Stewart House in demand that the university publicly commits to not reinvesting in any companies that attain more than five per cent of their profit from fossil fuel or arms.”

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The Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) released a statement saying it “fully supports the campaign for full divestment”, adding: “EUSA have worked hard, alongside student campaigners, to pressure the university to divest from arms and fossil fuels, and re-invest into sustainable companies.

“We join People and Planet in calling for the university to remove funds from the three remaining fossil fuel companies, and re-invest in ethical and sustainable enterprises.

“We wish campaigners the best and will be ensuring their right to protest is protected, as well as liaising between campaigners and the university concerning potential outcomes.”

Speaking with the Independent, a university spokesperson said they support the right of all students to “protest lawfully and peacefully”.

The spokesperson continued: “We are committed to using our finances to make a significant, sustainable, and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK, and the world.

“In line with our responsible investment policy - which was formulated in consultation with staff and students - we do not invest in companies involved in the highest carbon-emitting industries. Last summer, we divested millions of pounds from three of the world’s biggest fossil fuels producers.

“Last September, we also confirmed we do not, and never will, invest in companies involved in controversial weapons or any company with a significant interest in armaments.”