Hey everyone, we hope term is going well!
This week we are focusing on the divestment campaign which is going from strength to strength this year. Zero Carbon have been meeting weekly at 4 pm in the Sidney Sussex JCR on Saturdays. There could not be a more important time to get involved with the struggle for climate justice. On the 15th of October fracking started in the UK for the first time in 7 years. This came just a week after the release of the UN’s IPCC report which warned that urgent structural changes are needed to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees and avoid catastrophic drought, floods, poverty and displacement. This means cutting carbon pollution by 45% by 2030. It means we cannot extract any new fossil fuels and must phase out existing ones as quickly as possible.
And yet Cambridge University continues to invest in the very fossil fuel companies which are causing this climate breakdown. They invest an estimated £377 million in the fossil fuel industry, and this is only part of the problem. Cambridge colleges each have endowments, some reaching over £1 billion, which are partially invested in the industry. They too are complicit in climate breakdown. When you consider that those affected by climate change are disproportionately from the global south, people of colour, women and indigenous communities, it is clear that the obligation for Cambridge and its colleges to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry is an issue of justice. That is why we demand divestment, not merely as a means for Cambridge to act in a socially responsible manner, but for it to acknowledge its historical and present complicity in unjust power relations and actively deliver justice as demanded by many of the worlds most marginalised communities.
But we need everybody to get involved! Lots of exciting stuff is happening with college divestment campaigns right now. Students from across many colleges are getting organised and planning divestment campaigns to deliver climate justice. Queens’ College have already divested, but hopefully many more will soon! If you haven’t heard of a campaign at your college, please get in touch so that we can put you in touch with the existing campaign at your college or help you start one.
This SATURDAY: At 4 pm there will be the weekly Zero Carbon meeting in the Sidney Sussex JCR.
From 7.30pm in the Newnham Bar there will also be a Zero Carbon social open to all which will be the launch of the Divest Newnham Campaign. This will be a really exciting event, a great chance to take a break and meet new people, and the bar will even be serving orange drinks(!)
This TUESDAY (the 30th of November) from 7 pm to 9 pm: Come along to the Chetwind Room at King’s College for an exciting panel talk and discussion on ‘Holding Shell accountable for its climate injustices.’ We will learn about the Shell bribery in Nigeria and the way in which they have failed to take responsibility for the devastation they have caused. We will discuss how climate justice as an anti-capitalist fight, and the ways in which corporations like Shell seek to greenwash their image. This is a super important event exposing the frontline realities for communities being affected by the predatory fossil fuel industry.
Next Friday (the 2nd of November) from 8.30pm: there will be a Zero Carbon Hill Colleges social at the Churchill Bar, open to all. Especially if you are at Fitz, Medwards, Churchill or Girton, please come along. This will be a great chance to meet others who are interested at your college and discuss how we can get all the hill colleges to divest!
Another very important event in Cambridge this week:
This Saturday at 2 pm at the Donkey Common Skateboard Park: March against the demolition of Montreal Square. Dozens of Cambridge residents are facing eviction from the homes many have lived in for decades. These homes are set to be demolished and replaced by housing which would not be 100% affordable and thus force many to leave the area. Come and stand in solidarity with local residents and defend social housing!
Alice and Jake