"Faculty and staff at Cambridge are planning a vote that would require the university to stop accepting fossil fuel money for research. It’s part of an expanding movement."
"Over the past decade, students around the world have successfully pressed many universities to sell off their fossil fuel investments. Today, I’m taking a turn as guest host of the Climate Forward newsletter with a bit of news about how that movement is expanding into new territory.
Faculty and senior staff at the University of Cambridge are poised to vote on a measure that would require the university to stop accepting funding from coal, oil and gas companies. It would be the first leading university to do so, and a vote could happen as early as this autumn.
People I interviewed would not make any predictions about the vote, but the proposal did appear to have solid support, especially among a younger cohort of academics at the university.
More than half of universities in Britain, and dozens in the United States, have committed to divesting their endowments from fossil fuel companies. Cambridge did that in 2020, saying that the move demonstrated its “determination to seek solutions to the climate crisis.”
Building on that success, activists are increasingly turning their focus to the millions of dollars that universities accept from the oil and gas industry for research, sponsorships and collaborations. Those donations allow companies to greenwash their images, activists say, by appropriating prestige and environmental credentials even as they continue to invest billions in new fossil fuel projects that scientists say are heating the planet to dangerous levels."
Hiroko Tabuchi reports for the New York Times August 16, 2022.