Student climate activists occupy the Esther Simpson Lecture Theater

They are protesting the university’s ties to fossil fuel companies

Student Rebellion climate activists are currently occupying the Esther Simpson Lecture Hall to protest the university’s ties to fossil fuel companies.

Their demands include a ban on university investment in oil, gas, coal and mining companies, a ban on these companies participating in job fairs or posting job vacancies, as well as a refusal to “ any funding” from these sources.

via @srleeds

This morning, a Student Rebellion spokesperson said: “From Monday 7 November, students at the University of Leeds are occupying the Business School’s Esther Simpson Building to demand that the institution cut all ties to fossil fuels; they say they will not leave the Esther Simpson Lecture Theater until their demands are met.

“Student Rebellion demands that the University of Leeds cut all ties to fossil fuels. This means that the university must:

  1. Update the University of Leeds policy on responsible investment to include a ban on investment in oil, gas, coal and mining companies.
  2. Create and implement an Ethical Careers Policy that commits to prohibiting oil, gas, coal and mining companies from recruiting through the University, which includes attending job fairs and advertising recruitment opportunities or vacancies.
  3. Refuse any funding from oil, gas, coal and mining companies.

“Student Rebellion says cutting all ties to fossil fuels must be part of the University’s commitment to protect its students”

via @srleeds_

Shelly, a third-year student and one of the occupiers, told The Tab: ‘I occupy because the university talks about climate action, but at the end of the day they don’t do enough. and they don’t do it quickly. sufficient. Solutions have to be fair and we can’t do that with fossil fuel money.

Student Rebellion also wrote an open letter to Vice-Chancellor Simone Buitendijk outlining their demands and inviting the university leadership to meet them in the busy auditorium.

In the letter, which you can view via the group’s Instagram, Student Rebellion encourages interested students to join the Occupy saying, “We all have a responsibility to step up and step out in the face of the climate crisis.”

A University of Leeds spokesperson said:

“The University of Leeds Climate Plan sets out the University’s goals, actions and investments to achieve net zero by 2030. The scope of the plan covers our teaching and research and operational activities, and our staff and the student community have been involved in its development and have key roles in its implementation.

“In accordance with our Climate Plan, we are redirecting our research and teaching away from the fossil fuel sector. We continue to work with energy companies where the work aims to reduce carbon emissions or accelerate the transition to a low carbon future.

“As of 2019, our Climate Active investment strategy means that we have not invested in any company whose main activity is the extraction of fossil fuels, or which derives significant income from this extraction.

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