UCT’s Convocation, the body comprising all alumni and academic staff, meets on Thursday 12 December 2019 at Kramer Building Lecture Theatre 1, Middle Campus at 17h00 for 17h30. For the second time, we will be proposing a motion on divestment.
If you’re a UCT alumnus or academic staff member, you’re eligible to offer a (non-binding) vote in favour of divestment. So please do join us for this important motion to offer your support.
If you’re not UCT staff or alumnus, but want to support with peaceful protest, please email us.
The urgency of decisive, principled action, particularly by leading social institutions like universities, to stop climate breakdown has never been clearer.
In 2017, our first motion to Convocation passed overwhelmingly; you can read it here.
It is now six years since the Fossil Free UCT campaign first called on the university to phase out over five years all investments in coal, oil and gas – fossil fuels – that are the leading cause of deadly climate breakdown. In those six years, the global fossil fuel divestment movement has grown from a handful of institutions to well over a thousand, including New York, Paris, London, our own city of Cape Town; a whole country, Ireland; and half of all British universities. Most have continued to get the same or better returns on their investments.
The university has made some progress, it has appointed an ethical investment task team, and then a responsible investment panel which is now meeting just four times a year. The new Vice Chancellor has appointed a campus sustainability officer. This is good. But it is nodding to trends, it is not leading, not yet. So what will Fossil Free SA be proposing at this year’s convocation?
On 12 December, Fossil Free UCT/SA will be calling yet again on the Vice Chancellor, Council, the University Panel on Responsible Investment, and the Joint Investment Committee to commit at last to real leadership on climate change, that is:
- to become the first South African and African university to commit loudly and publicly to fossil fuel divestment,
- to publicly disclose fossil fuel investments by UCT and the UCT Foundation by the end of January 2020,
- to commit to phasing out at least 80% of all equity investments in fossil fuels by the end of 2020,
- and to report on progress towards this goal at next year’s Convocation.
You can read the full text of our proposed motion here.