NUI Galway has now committed to divesting in fossil fuels following the hard work and focus of some earthly-minded students.
Last year, the CCAFS (Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security) society submitted a petition of over 1000 signatures.
This followed a report undertaken that highlighted that to date the University has invested €3.4 million worth of shares that in fossil fuel companies such as Gazprom and Statoil.
Recently, this report, petition and finding was welcomed by University President, Dr Jim Browne.
The University has now agreed to withdraw these investments and adopt a sustainable investment policy with the support of the society and the Students Union.
Jimmy McGovern, NUI Galway SU President, who had been closely involved with the work of the society said: “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.”
Last week, the society held a talk on the matter that was the third annual Climate Congress in partnership with Trócaire.
The conference sought to explore the topic of sustainable investment from political, social, and environmental standpoints.
It also had a constructive session to build ideas and get the audience talking about these challenging topics.
Speakers at the Congress included Thomas Pringle T.D., proposer of “the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill” in Dáil Éireann, Ian Halstead of L&P Investment Services Ltd and Clíona Sharkey of Trócaire.
Auditor of the CCAFS society, Colm Duffy said: “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”.
University President Dr Jim Browne echoed the delight to the society commending their actions saying they had “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”.
The plan for divestment of fossil fuels initially came to light in late November 2016.
Nationally, it has also been announced that Trinity College Dublin have divested €6.1 million of their investment in fossil fuels.
To find out more about the action plan and the initiative undertaken by CCAFS visit ccafs.cgiar.org or visit the NUI Galway Facebook page by searching “CCAFS society NUIG”.