The president of the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), Dr. James Browne, has committed to fossil fuel divestment in the university.
This follows a meeting last Wednesday of the NUIG Students’ Union President, Jimmy McGovern, the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Society in NUIG and Dr. Browne regarding the divestment of €3.4 million worth of fossil fuel shares held by NUIG.
The agreement follows the submission of a petition with over 1,000 signatures to NUIG in last month and a report highlighting the case for divestment. Browne will table a motion for full divestment of fossil fuel shares as well as the implementation of an ethical investment policy in early 2017.
Following the meeting, Dr. Browne said: “It is important for students to consider their role as global citizens who will shape our planet’s future. By advocating for an ethical policy on institutional investment, the CCAFS society and the Students’ Union leadership are highlighting an important global issue which impacts on climate change, social equity and a range of important ethical issues today. I look forward to working with our students to promote a transparent and ethical investment policy at NUI Galway, including fossil fuel divestment.”
Colm Duffy, Auditor of the CCAFS Society, said: “We are thrilled with the response so far from Dr Browne, and see today’s result as a significant step towards divestment. We are looking forward to announcing NUI Galway’s commitment to divestment, and implementation of an ethical investment policy in February. We are hopeful that successes here, and in Trinity College, are the beginning of a cascade effect among Irish universities.”