This blog was written by Miriam Wilson, a member of Fossil Free Glasgow University campaign in Scotland, UK.

The meeting of Glasgow University Court, our university’s decision-making body, on June 25th 2014 was a big moment for our Climate Action Society’s Fossil Free campaign. After 10 months of intensive campaigning, and an early morning banner drop, a decision on possible fossil fuel divestment was about to be made…

Glasgow University Climate Action group's banner drop

Glasgow University Climate Action group’s banner drop

Divestment was first placed on the Court’s agenda back in February. With the support of our Students’ Representative Council (SRC), we were able to bring fossil fuel divestment to the Court’s attention, and in response they formed Working Group on Socially Responsible Investment to consider our case.

At this point, our campaign team split into two groups: Action and Research. Our Research Team compiled a 180-page briefing setting out the case for divestment for the Working Group, and four members were invited to meet with the Working Group to make the case in person.

Meanwhile, our Action Team made big noise around the campaign on campus, staging numerous creative actions to draw attention to our cause. On the day of the June 25th Court meeting, that meant hanging a giant banner from the SRC building, calling on the university to make the responsible choice, and divest.

The Court meeting took place behind closed doors. Although two SRC representatives attended the meeting, we were not allowed to know what the Working Group recommendation on divestment was until after the meeting adjourned.

But the Working Group came out in full support of divestment, recommending that the university puts a freeze on new investments in the industry, winds down its existing holdings over the next 10 years, and where possible re-invests in green industries. The 10-year timeline isn’t in line with our demands or the science, but we’ll continue pushing them to bring this forward.

The professionalism of our campaign and the strength of our arguments were apparently commented on throughout the meeting. Despite this, a minority of Court members were opposed to divestment, and blocked a decision being passed until October. We still have work to do.

The Working Group will re-convene to consider concerns raised by a few Court members at the October meeting, and we have four months to persuade them further of our arguments, build up even greater momentum on campus around our campaign, and mobilise towards a divestment win in the new semester.

You can support our campaign by signing our petition

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