NUI Galway has officially committed to divest from fossil fuel shares by the end of 2017.
After a campaign that began in November of last year, the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Society in NUIG have reached success, with the university deciding that it will fully divest from fossil fuel shares by the end of this year.
The CCAFS society had 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 in late November. The University President Dr James Browne welcomed the report at the time, citing divestment from fossil fuel shares as in keeping with the university’s striving towards sustainability.
Colm Duffy, Auditor of the CCAFS Society, Director of the Fossil Free Campaign and Students’ Union Postgraduate Officer, announced the result:
“It is with no small measure of delight that we announce NUI Galway’s commitment to divestment. We are extremely happy with the result and the support from Dr Browne. We are glad that this campaign has come to a conclusion, and we look forward to assisting NUI Galway in the formation of its Ethical Investment Policy”.
Students’ Union President Jimmy McGovern added: “NUI Galway’s decision to completely divest from fossil fuels shows leadership in the right direction. This proposal began through student activism and is a prime example of why we must empower students, the future of our society, by giving them a platform to have influence and input in our University’s developments. NUI Galway has given its students that platform in this instance and we applaud them for that.”
Speaking of the University’s significant commitment to fossil fuel divestment, NUI Galway President Dr James Browne, said: “This is an important development and I am delighted that NUI Galway has taken a leadership position nationally in promoting such an ethical investment policy, including fossil fuel divestment. I’d like to commend the students involved in CCAFS and the Students’ Union leadership who have highlighted an important global issue that impacts on climate change, social equity and a range of important ethical issues today. Their actions and advocacy demonstrate their commitment as global citizens who will shape our planet’s future. “
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 & NUIG Students’ Union Postgraduate Officer); Aoife Kervic (CCAFS); & Brendan Hallahan (CCAFS).