Global Divestment Mobilisation: UK

Fossil fuel companies have been driving the climate crisis and delaying action on climate change for decades.

From May 5th – 13th, join thousands of people everywhere to highlight the impacts of our institutions’ investments in fossil fuels and demand they do the right thing: divest!

Join the Global Divestment Mobilisation

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If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong for our universities, pension funds, places of worship, cities, museums and banks to profit from that wreckage.

Divestment campaigns are weakening the fossil fuel industry’s political and economic stranglehold over society. Every time a respected institution publicly breaks its ties with fossil fuels, we chip away at their political power to carry out immoral business plans, and we open up space for just climate solutions to flourish.

The stakes have never been higher – our changing climate is leading to ever more dangerous extremes. Flood disasters have more than doubled in Europe in the last 35 years. Droughts, heatwaves and storms are already causing more deaths and damaging livelihoods.

This May, we’re coming together right across the globe to highlight the devastating climate impacts caused by our institutions continued support for the fossil fuel industry, and demand they do the right thing.

Whether it’s your university or your local council, your faith group or your workplace – we’re all connected to institutions who shouldn’t be funding the fossil fuel industry. The Global Divestment Mobilisation is the chance to organise locally, and act globally. Everyone is invited to take part.

Join the Global Divestment Mobilisation – organise an action or event calling for divestment at a target near you, and be part of this global moment for change.

Local councils in the UK have £14 billion invested in fossil fuels through the pension funds they control. As public institutions, looking out for the public good, they should not be supporting this dirty industry and putting workers’ money at risk. Instead, they could be reinvesting for the long term benefit the community.

Already, hundreds of local councils across the world have committed to divest from fossil fuels. Here in the UK, two council funds have pledged to go fully fossil free, and there are 30+ campaigns active across the country.

Crucially, local elections are also happening across huge parts of the UK this May, making this a key moment to ask for leadership from councillors and local authorities on divestment. If there are elections where you are, why not think about hosting your GDM event a bit early and tying it in?

Local councils are on the frontline of climate impacts – left to pick up the pieces after devastating flooding and other extreme weather events on ever smaller budgets. It’s more important than ever that they show climate leadership and divest from fossil fuels.This May, you can join thousands of others to call on your local council to divest from fossil fuels. You can join an existing campaign, start one where you are (there’s lots of resources to help) or organise an event to raise the issue.

It could be a rally at the town hall, a public meeting with pension holders, a creative intervention highlighting impacts here and around the world. Whatever works to raise the profile of divestment, stigmatise the fossil fuel industry and push decision-makers in your area. From webinars to training sessions, there will be resources and support to help you along the way.

If you’re thinking about organising an event, or starting a campaign but have questions or would like some pointers, please get in touch with Ellen: ellen@350.org.

Follow up on February’s Go Green Week, students around the world will be taking part in the Global Divestment Mobilisation and demanding our universities break their ties with the fossil fuel industry.

Already a quarter of UK Universities have made divestment commitments – now it’s time to divest the rest, and hold our universities to account. Because no institutions preparing students for the future should be supporting the fossil fuel industry.

In the UK, we’ll also be targeting serial climate criminal Barclays Bank – demanding they divest from fossil fuels, or get off our campuses.

The high street bank has a notorious track record of being on the wrong side of history. Barclays was a prominent financier of the Apartheid regime in South Africa aiding the government in upholding and enforcing apartheid policies.

Now, Barclays is one of most notorious bankrollers of climate chaos, with $15.65 billion of oil, coal and gas assets. They directly and indirectly fund fossil fuel extraction projects across the world – including the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Cerrejon coal mine in Columbia and the Alberta tar sands in Canada – that threaten the lives and livelihoods of marginalised communities in the Global South and Indigenous territories.

For those who are being sacrificed and displaced, climate justice is an urgent issue. They’re taking a stand against the fossil fuel industry and stemming the flow of funds to oil, coal and gas. These communities are our red lines and red lines are not for crossing. Let’s stand in solidarity with them as they resist the land expulsions and human rights abuses associated with extractive industries. Let’s put their voices at the heart of the struggle.

This Global Divestment Mobilisation, we’ll be making sure our universities know they can no longer get away with supporting the fossil fuel industry. We’ll be standing alongside communities on the frontline to call out climate criminals like Barclays and getting them out of fossil fuels, or off our campuses.

Get involved! On May 5th – 13th, organise an action to push your University to divest or expose Barclays role in climate chaos and human rights abuses – you can check out this photo album for some action ideas from a recent #FrackBarclays day of action.

On May 5th -13th, let’s show that as students, educators and young people, our resistance to the fossil fuel industry is global.

If you’re thinking of organising an action or event, get in touch at: fossilfree@peopleandplanet.org.

Churches and other faith institutions have hundreds of millions of pounds invested in the fossil fuel industry. While Quakers in Britain and the United Reformed Church Synod of Scotland have committed to full divestment from fossil fuels, other churches continue to invest huge sums of money in fossil fuels. The Church of England invests more than £190m in Shell and BP alone, while the Methodist Church has £52m invested in fossil fuels.

Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign is calling on churches to lead the transition to a zero carbon economy by divesting from fossil fuels and investing in clean alternatives. Why not encourage your local church to make a divestment commitment and urge national church investors to do the same?

You could organise an event such as a talk or film screening, or raise a motion calling for divestment through your regional or national church denomination structures. Visit the Bright Now website or get in touch with James on james.buchanan@operationnoah.org for more information and to get involved.

Quakers in Britain are inviting local and area Quaker meetings to commit to divestment or to organise an event to get going on this journey. Plus we will be celebrating those who have already committed to divest – so please let us know if you have. For more details, visit the Quaker website on divestment or contact Sunniva on sunnivat@quaker.org.uk.

UK banks manage trillions of pounds of our money and much more of it is invested in, and lent to, fossil fuel companies than to renewable energy. Join Christian Aid’s campaign to call on the biggest high street banks to make The Big Shift away from fossil fuels and towards a zero carbon future. Email the banks now and use our resources to visit them during the week of action. Visit Christian Aid’s Big Shift webpage or email Sarah on srowe@christian-aid.org for more support.

Interested in campaigning in other faith groups? Email danni@350.org.

Join or Register an Action

Attend a Training

From March 11th to April 9th, 350.org and People & Planet are running creative action and media trainings in 10+ UK cities, ahead of the Global Divestment Mobilisation in May.

Fossil Free Trainings Tour dates:

Trainings are open to all, no matter your campaigning experience or involvement in divestment. If you have any questions get in touch with ellen@350.org. More information on the Fossil Free UK website.

Do I need to register to attend?

Please register via the Eventbrite pages for each training. There are limited spaces available for each session and know how many people are coming is essential! If spaces fill up quickly, we’ll look into finding bigger venues.

How much do the trainings cost?

We want to make all our trainings as accessible as possible. All the sessions in the tour will cost £5 full price or free for unwaged/student. If you have any questions about payment, email ellen@350.org.

What will the trainings cover?

The focus of the training sessions is on creative action planning and media skills. We will look at some inspiring examples of creative action, think about strategy and planning, and get stuck into some scheming of our own. We’ll also look at how to get the media interested in your action. There will also be space for local campaigns to talk about their work! The sessions will be interactive and participatory.

Join an Online Workshop

Want to find our more about the Global Divestment Mobilisation? Join one of our webinars!

Click on each one for more information and to sign up to attend.

Monday 20th March, 7pm

We’re excited, but what exactly is going on in the UK, and how do I get involved? Join this storytelling webinar to hear from a range of campaigners from local government, university, faith, sponsorship and others about what they’ve got planned and how they did it. A chance to find out more information, ask questions and get inspired.

Click here to sign up to watch the webinar.

Wednesday 22nd March, 6:30pm

Learn from divestment campaigners that have ramped up the pressure and successfully taken their campaigns to the next level. You’ll be able to hear and share ideas on how to change up your tactics and make progress in campaigns that feel a little stuck — and all in time to help plan the most effective action tactics for your Global Divestment Mobilisation event this May.

Click here to sign up to watch the webinar.

Monday 27th March, 6:30pm

The faith community has played a leading role in the divestment movement, with hundreds of faith institutions around the world divesting and lending a strong moral voice to the case against the fossil fuel industry. Tune in to hear from faith campaigners about what they’re organising for the Global Divestment Mobilisation and how you can take part in your faith community.

Click here to sign up to watch the webinar.

Tuesday 4th April, 6:30pm

We’re powerful when we take action together – but what comes next? In this webinar, we’ll be talking about how to use your action as part of the Global Divestment Mobilisation to build more long-term local people power. Join us for ideas on how to absorb all the new interest your action will generate locally into your group, and how you can harness that interest and power to win.

Click here to sign up to watch the webinar.

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