University and fossil fuels: Johnstone welcomes shift

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, is welcoming the shift in position by Edinburgh University on its investments in firms contributing to climate change but is warning the institution to deliver on its promises.

The University is writing to three fossil fuel firms it invests in to inform them that it intends to divest from their activities within the next six months.

Alison said:

AJ Divest Rally Feb 2015This shift in position is welcome. Edinburgh University’s reputation was clearly being damaged by a very poor decision not to divest from unsustainable fuels. Credit must go to the students who staged a sit-in and campaigned to build broad public support for a change in policy. I was pleased to join them and praise their principled stance.

“While the new position only appears to affect coal and tar sands, it is a step in the right direction. The university’s pledge to engage with these companies will only buy a short amount of time; they will need to start divesting soon. Edinburgh needs to catch up with the likes of Glasgow University on this issue. Actions not words are what matter.”

Alison lodged a Motion in parliament on 20 May calling on the university to divest: