• North Eastern Universities go Sweatshop Free
    International supply chains are frequently exposed to unsafe, abusive and inhumane conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced this fact with increased urgency. Large scale buyers have an obligation to ensure integrity of their supply chains, and dignity for workers. The North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) buys huge amounts of IT and electronic goods on behalf of 23 universities in North East England and the Midlands, reporting an £11 million spend increase on IT and Telecoms equipment for the 2018-19 financial year. The electronics industry is particularly high risk for labor and human rights abuses in their supply chains - including sweatshop conditions and modern day slavery. The International Labour Organization estimates around 25 million men, women and children around the world are in a form of forced labour. 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children. With this level of risk, it is indisputable that robust measures and active steps must be taken to guarantee justice for workers and the environment in an industry that frequently places profit over safety. NEUPC must affiliate to Electronics Watch and go Sweatshop Free! Electronics Watch is the only independent monitoring organisation credible with workers and their unions in the electronics industry. Affiliation enables universities to access information on the conditions products they buy were made in, and equips them to address identified violations through the power of large-scale purchasing contracts. Since its formation in 2013, three major UK university purchasing consortia have affiliated to Electronics Watch on behalf of all their member institutions. These are the North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium (NWUPC), London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) and the Advanced Procurement for Universities & Colleges (APUC - Scotland). It is essential that the same level of scrutiny and supply chain transparency is available to North East universities. We demand that NEUPC follow suit and affiliate to Electronics Watch on behalf of its members, using their significant influence to eradicate rather than perpetuate a system based on the exploitation of electronics workers!
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    Created by Sweatshop Free
  • LSBU: Divest From Fossil Fuels
    In the face of a climate emergency LSBU has been a national leader among universities in pioneering green research and education programs. This makes the continued failure to divest from fossil fuels all the more striking. At a board meeting in July 2016, governors expressed a wish for LSBU to develop an ethical investment policy, including screening out fossil fuel investments. Unfortunately, this wish has not yet developed into action, and LSBU currently has £49,010 invested in fossil fuels with no clear plan to divest. Despite priding themselves on being ‘dedicated to protecting our planet and society’, LSBU has failed to instigate real changes to their investments. In July 2016, in a policy paper co-signed by Ian Mehrtens, the Chief Operating Officer, and Pat Bailey, the deputy vice-chancellor, it was stated that: 'The principles of sustainability need to be clearly demonstrated in all parts of the University, and this should be clear from information available internally and externally on the Web. In addition, the University should aim to remain in the top 30 ‘most sustainable’ universities in the UK using national metrics (e.g. University League, AUDE Green Scorecard) and build and maintain recognition for ‘best practices’ on a European and international basis.' These achievements have failed to materialise. The principles of sustainability are not clearly demonstrated on the web; there have been no further policies published on the website since 2016. LSBU is ranked 65th in the UK on the People and Planet University League, with a sustainability rating of 41.6/100. In 2017, LSBU celebrated being in the top 50, meaning the university has dropped by at least 15 places in two years. One crucial reason for South Bank sliding down the rankings will be the continued failure to divest from fossil fuels, whilst 82 universities in Britain- over half of all universities in the country- have stepped up and made the commitment.
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  • End Barclays Sponsorship: Divest Pride
    Reject Barclays Sponsorship: Divest Pride Barclays sponsorship of Pride is Pinkwashing: they are co-opting the struggle for LGBTQI+ liberation while continuing to actively support climate collapse. As the largest funder of fossil fuel companies in Europe, Barclays have funnelled £91 billion to this destructive industry in the five years since the signing of the Paris Agreement. Pride organisations that claim to represent the community and hold large events in our name have an opportunity and a duty to use this position to confront big businesses that perpetuate injustice and climate catastrophe. We cannot allow LGBTQI+ Pride movements to lose their political history and become corporate ads financed by the proceeds of harmful extractive industry. We in the queer community want our Prides to represent us and our shared values. We believe that there is no justifying the acceptance of money tainted by the destruction of ecosystems, displacement of indigenous peoples and climate catastrophe.
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  • Barclays: No More Oil, Invest in a Greener Future
    Universities are establishments that value critical research and learning but also the long-term prosperity of all students and staff, and of society as a whole. Collectively, we want our institutions to protect the futures we work to realise and to protect our planet and its fragile ecosystems, not to partner with banks financing destructive projects targeting Indigenous land. Our institutions’ commitments to society and the planet must mean putting our money where our mouth is. As members of academic institutions, we have a duty to act on these pressing issues, leading by example. We support the aims of the students' Divest Barclays campaign and value their contribution to this debate.
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  • End Fossil Fuel Recruitment Events - University of Oxford
    When the University of Oxford hosts and promotes job opportunities and events with fossil fuel companies, it lends legitimacy to the notion that these climate-destroying corporations have any place in a sustainable and just future. Science tells us unequivocally that this is false. By hosting and promoting fossil fuel recruitment events, the University of Oxford ignores its responsibility - as an institution of knowledge and learning to act on scientific evidence and consensus, - to its students: fossil fuel careers will not prepare them for the future we need for a liveable planet, - to the Global South: the effects of climate change, which are accelerated by the actions of fossil fuel companies, are hitting and will continue to hit this region of the world first. These consequences are disproportionate to the Global South's responsibility in climate change.
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    Created by Oxford Climate Justice Campaign Picture
  • Boycott Barclays across Portsmouth
    We cannot afford to construct any new infrastructure which relies on fossil fuel extraction. We cannot dig any new coal mines, drill any new oil fields, build any more pipelines. Yet right now, projected investment in new fields, mines, and transportation infrastructure over the next twenty years is worth $14 trillion. Barclays is a major investor in fossil fuel infrastructure across the globe it's time for them to halt their support for the fossil fuel industry before they crash the climate.
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  • Legal Recognition for Climate Refugees
    Already millions are displaced by climate related issues. Between 2008 and 2015 the UNHCR estimates 22.5 million people were displaced by climate or weather related events. This number will by all estimations continue to increase, as extreme weather becomes more and more frequent and intense due to climate change. It has been discovered that rising temperatures in developing countries have correlated to an influx of asylum applications to the EU, and fair policy must be implemented in preparation for this change. It is a widely acknowledged fact that people in developing countries are disproportionately affected by the devastating effects of climate change, despite not being responsible for the majority of emissions that cause these changes. This is why we believe that the UK government has a responsibility to update their migration policy to acknowledge that people leaving their homes because of climate change is a form of forced migration, and those people should be able to seek asylum here in Britain. Climate change is happening, and this is an opportunity for the UK to be a global pioneer for action to respond to its challenges to humanity.
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  • University of Kent: Go sweatshop free!
    The International Labour Organisation estimates that around 21 million men, women and children work in conditions of forced labour and slavery today, and we believe it is the University's responsibility to ensure they are not contributing to this horrific statistic. As of this moment, we have no guarantee that sweatshops do not play a part in our university's supply chains and affiliating with Electronics Watch is the best way to rectify this. It's also very easily done, so there's really no excuse!
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  • Cambridge University, cut your ties with fossil fuel money and commit to divestment now.
    The Guardian investigation revealed that a member of the working group was simultaneously the lead contact for a combined donation of £22 million from BHP Billiton and BP. The Vice-Chair of the working group was aware of these donations, yet they were not disclosed to the group or declared as a conflict of interest. It has also been discovered that the Chair of the Working Group held investments in Shell, Total and BP. Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope was not only aware of these donations and the compromised interests of working group members, but met with BP representatives for the donation just weeks after rejecting divestment. This information is a source of total outrage, particularly for the majority of students and staff at the university who have repeatedly spoken out in favour of divestment and immediate action to tackle climate change. The legitimacy of that decision against divestment has been completely undermined, as it is now clear that it was ultimately informed by the report of a working group with vested interests . These revelations serve to emphasise the dangerous extent to which Cambridge is wedded to companies which are fuelling climate breakdown. It is time for the University to demonstrate a serious commitment to transparent investment and climate justice. Cambridge is lagging behind pathetically on the issue of divestment, despite its supposed status as a world-leading institution. 50 UK universities have committed to full divestment and Ireland became the first country to divest last year. New York City has recently declared that it will be divesting $5 billion from fossil fuels, as well as suing the world’s most powerful fossil fuel companies. The University of Cambridge needs to follow suit before it is too late: it must act now to delegitimise these companies by casting off their grip on the university and its internal structures. It is imperative that the report of the Divestment Working Group is revoked and that a new consultation process on how the University should divest is initiated.
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  • Cambridge University, commit to a 2030 carbon neutral target
    Climate change is the most urgent ethical issue of our time. The United Nations recent IPCC report laid out the stark urgency of staying below 1.5 degrees warming to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown. If the world overshoots 1.5 degrees warming there will be enormous levels of human suffering due to changes in weather patterns, dwindling resources, and increased frequencies of natural disasters. These effects will be disproportionately felt by countries in the global south and the world's poorest populations. Each fraction of a degree is of crucial importance. 2 degrees of warming, as supposed to 1.5 degrees, would expose an additional 10 million people to impacts like coastal flooding and saltwater affecting agriculture and drinking water due to raised sea levels. It would thaw an additional estimated 1.5-2.5 million square kilometres of permafrost, releasing methane gas in a vicious cycle of warming. These effects will jeapordise the lives and livelihoods of those relying on fishing and farming, exposing an additional several hundred million people to poverty and climate related risks by 2050, and the IPCC is estimating that by 2050 the amount of displaced peoples will reach between 150-300 million. It would virtually wipe out coral reefs, see the rate of biodiversity loss double, and expand the range of insects carrying deadly diseases such as malaria and dengue. The report also confirmed the scientific consensus that urgent, unprecedented, systemic action must be taken to phase out fossil fuels. Cambridge University has a moral obligation to take every action possible to play their part in tackling climate change. Their current target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and newly proposed target of 2040, both do not reflect the urgency of the situation. They are wholly inadequate in helping keep warming below 1.5 degrees. Recently, councils and other institutions have been taking the lead across England in declaring a climate emergency and committing to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. The City of Bristol did this in November 2018, followed by the London Assembly in December 2018. The councils of Stroud, Scarborough, Forest of Dean, Oswestry, and more have done the same. Other Universities have taken action, with Universities such as Plymouth and KCL having committed to 2030 and 2025 carbon neutral targets respectively. Cambridge University too has a duty to act. This is an emergency. We call on Cambridge University to commit to concrete radical action on climate change now.
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    Created by CUSU Ethical Affairs
  • King's College London Go Sweatshop Free - Join Electronics Watch
    Every year, billions of pounds are spent by public bodies in the UK and Ireland on ICT equipment including phones, laptops, computers and tablets. Workers that made them likely spent excessively long hours working in dangerous factories. Some are at risk of developing cancer from toxic chemical exposure, which also pollutes the environment. Many sweatshop workers experience violence and are at risk of modern slavery. Electronics Watch is an independent labour monitoring organisation for the electronic industry. Electronics Watch members are public bodies who are coming together to use their collective influence over the industry to improve working conditions in factories across the globe. When joining, institutions write human and labour rights guarantees into their contracts with suppliers. Electronics Watch conducts monitoring of factories on behalf of its members, reporting back about conditions and treatment of works. They then negotiate with global brands, manufacturing companies and factory owners to address any labour rights violations that have been found. Our money is being spent on these products and we're demanding that money be used to eradicate rather than perpetuate a system based on exploitation of workers and inhumane conditions!
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  • Newcastle University Go Fossil Free
    Climate break down is happening now. From deadly forest fires in California to South Pacific islands sinking as a result of sea-level rise, we are already feeling the effects of rising global temperatures. This poses a tremendous threat to humanity and all other life on this planet. Climate change is a social justice issue. It disproportionately affects people who bear little responsibility for its causes, including communities in the Global South who are on the frontline of fossil fuel extraction, and minority-ethnic and working class communities in the Global North. The latest United Nations IPCC report tells us we must cut global carbon emissions by at least 45% by 2030 if we are to stand any chance of limiting average global temperature rise to 1.5°C. If we don't do so, we will face significantly more extreme impacts in the form of droughts, floods, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people, within our lifetimes. We must act collectively to do everything in our power to cut carbon emissions as fast as possible. (1) https://www.ncl.ac.uk/media/wwwnclacuk/freedomofinformation/files/Investments-July-2017.pdf
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    Created by Rebecca D'Andrea