25 signatures reached
To: Newcastle University & Barclays Bank
Newcastle University Divest Barclays
We want Newcastle University to divest from and boycott all relations with Barclays bank, on the grounds of their key role in financing catastrophic climate change. Barclays have £15,653 million of assets in oil, gas and coal extraction globally, financing projects such as fracking in North Yorkshire and the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Universities are often thought of as some of the most reputable and forward-thinking institutions in society, and are held in high esteem for their contribution to tackling some of the most pressing problems of our time through ground-breaking research.
To uphold this reputation, it is therefore vital that Newcastle University and Newcastle University Student's Union boycott Barclays bank until they relinquish their ties with the fossil fuel industry. This means no dealings with Barclays, including: no banking with them, no investments in Barclays shares, removing the Barclays ATMs on campus, no Barclays advertising or stalls on campus, and accepting no funding from Barclays.
By signing this petition, I ask Newcastle University to divest from and boycott all relations with Barclays, and personally pledge to not bank with Barclays until they stop funding climate chaos.
Why is this important?
Newcastle University currently have £2.4m in Barclays bank (People and Planet, 2018). As a respected institution with a large amount of social prestige and influence, it is vital that Newcastle University breaks all ties with Barclays, while it continues to finance fossil fuel projects. By dealing with organisations like Barclays which are financing catastrophic climate change, respected institutions like Newcastle University grant a social license to this irresponsible activity. This social license must be removed, by a University-wide divestment from and boycott of all relations with Barclays.
In 2016, Newcastle University made a commitment to divest from coal and tar-sands projects, on the basis of their damaging role in contributing to climate change. At this time, the chair of Newcastle University’s Council, Mark I’Anson, said:
“Newcastle University is committed to furthering environmental sustainability and we have a strong track-record in this regard.
"So it is right that our investment decisions are consistent with these values" (Newcastle University Press Office, 2016).
If this remains true, then Newcastle University cannot excuse its ties with Barclays, whose role in financing catastrophic climate change clearly contradicts the University's supposed commitment to 'environmental sustainability'.