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Oxford alumni threaten to withhold donations to college amid row over fossil fuels

By ITS Education Asia

The recent increase in climate activism spurred by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish child environmental activist, is continuing to have a range of ramifications for academic institutions.

Alumni of the Oxford College, attended by Tony Blair and Evan Davies, are threatening to withhold donations unless it commits to selling shares in fossil fuel companies.

Hundreds of graduates have signed a letter to St John’s College urging bosses to cut all ties with fossil fuel firms after students camped out in the college quad to protest against investments.

The college, which is the wealthiest in Oxford, currently invests around £8m in BP and Shell.

It comes after Professor Andrew Parker, principal bursar of the college, told students demanding divestment that he could instead arrange for the gas central heating to be switched off. 

The letter from alumni, which has been sent to Professor Parker and the college’s president, says: “In light of your troubling response to this peaceful occupation and continued refusal to align your endowment with climate justice, as alumni and alumnae, we cannot in good faith donate to St John’s, the University of Oxford, or any college which has not made a divestment commitment at this time.”

It seems that their will continue to be ramifications for many academic institutions of young people’s demands for increased action on climate change.

Photo / Image Credit :

By James - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Link

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