CUSU Ethical Affairs
The Ethical Affairs Team is the part of the students' union which campaigns on social and environmental sustainability. It aims to promote awareness of environmental and ethical issues among the students, coordinate, represent, and empower them to act.
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In a nutshell, your CUSU Ethical Affairs team:
- Run the Living Wage, Go Greener, Ethical Consumerism and Socially Responsible Investment Campaigns.
- Have launched the Student Switch Off competition last year - go check it out here!
- Represent students' views on University committees which include efforts to review the University's environmental policy.
- Provide training for college green officers and faculty reps on integrating sustainability issues into our education.
- Are giving you the chance to win £150 through the Seeds for Change award
- Coordinate student action with the Hub. Highlight of this year is the first ever Ethical Festival which was held from October 21st to November 8th 2013. Check out our video!
27/1/2013 - Update from the Fossil Fuel divestment campaign: CUSU Council voted in favour of submitting a motion of Fossil Fuel Divestment to the NUS conference!
14/11/2013 - Our green officers workshop this evening was highly successful! Thanks to everyone for coming!
CAMBRIDGE, UK - On November 11th 2013, the Cambridge University Students' Union Council voted unanimously to encourage the University and its constituent colleges to divest from non-renewable resources.
On a motion submitted by the Ethical Affairs team of the students' union, Cambridge students voted to pressure the "University and its colleges to explicitly commit to pursuing low-carbon assets and withdraw their investments from companies whose main business is the extraction and/or production of fossil fuels."
Noting the relevance of the IPCC's 5th Assessment Report, which calls for an absolute upper limit on greenhouse gas emissions, and the impact of the global "Fossil Free" movement, Cambridge students agreed to push the university to apply its sustainability commitments not only to its operations, development, and research priorities, but also to its portfolio. The students of the University of Cambridge thus join a growing chorus of universities, religious institutions and city councils calling for divestment from the world's 200 largest fossil fuel companies.
Through its £5 billion endowment (which classifies it the wealthiest university in Europe), the University of Cambridge has strong links with the fossil fuel industry. A recent investigation by students found that Cambridge Colleges hold significant stakes in petro-chemical and coal giants such BP, Exxon Mobil, Gazprom, Lukoil, Royal Dutch Shell, and BHP Billiton, amongst others.
Co-chair of CUSU Ethical Affairs Suyin Chalmin-Pui noted that "this is a first and important step towards the CUSU campaign for divestment from fossil fuel companies and strongly articulates the student body's position on the importance of a sustainable investment portfolio". CUSU Education Officer Jia Hui Lee added that "students' tuition fees are locked up in university endowments, providing greater reason for investments to reflect the ethical values of the student body".
Daniel Macmillen, Socially Responsible Investment Officer, explained that "given the sobering assessments of climate science, and the imperative to prevent a hazardous temperature increase of over two degrees, we must do everything in our power to rapidly reduce fossil fuel extraction and consumption."
Students have been increasingly pressuring the University of Cambridge to accept its responsibility for tackling climate change and acting accordingly on the most important issue of our time. This motion enshrines those concerns, indicating that students are actively engaging with the importance of having economically and environmentally sustainable endowments.
Press Contact: Ethical Affairs Chairs - firstname.lastname@example.org; CUSU SRI Officer email@example.com. uk
UPDATE posted 14/Nov/2013
Sign our fossil fuel divestment petition here: http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/cambridge-to-divest-from-fossil-fuels
To get involved in our campaigns and activities, contact the Ethical Affairs Officers, Suyin Chalmin-Pui and Poppy Damon, on ethical-chair[at]cusu.cam.ac.uk, or learn more about the Ethical Affairs team.
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