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Fossil Free Campaign: York

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

A group of skint, stressed, and certainly sleep-deprived students at the University of York have dragged themselves out of bed long enough to revive a campaign calling for the University to stop their investments in the harmful Fossil Fuel industry.

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On Friday the 2nd of March they could be seen on campus with an emaciated polar bear looking surprisingly at home amidst the snow as they distributed flyers and collected signatures for their petition which is quickly taking off.

The students argue that the £656,256 the University has invested in Fossil Fuels contradicts the institution’s ‘Ethical Investment Policy’ which states:

“The University will not knowingly invest in companies whose activities include practices which directly pose a risk of serious harm to individuals or groups, or whose activities are inconsistent with the mission and values of the University.” The University of York’s Ethical Investment Policy.

Yet, climate change, fuelled by Fossil Fuel emissions, directly threatens more than 800 million people (11% of the global population) who are vulnerable to exacerbated droughts, floods, heat-waves, extreme weather events, and sea-level rise.

As rival institutions such as York St. John and Lancaster University pledge to divest from Fossil Fuels, how long can the University of York continue to justify their illicit investments whilst masquerading as a supposed champion of sustainability with initiatives such as One Planet Week?

The best part about this campaign? It’s super easy to show your support from the comfort of your bed. All they’re asking you to do is input your name and email address to their online petition and they’ll do the rest!

The students aim to reach 1,000 signatures on their petition by the end of the Spring term, at which point they intend to deliver it to the University Management Team to demonstrate the notable demand for a Fossil Free York.


If you are a student or staff member at the University of York, you can sign the petition here:

Meanwhile, you can follow their campaign via their Facebook ( or Twitter ( pages.

The core team behind this campaign are Alice Edinburgh, Talya Kamara, Eleni Zografaki-Pampouki, Emma Lewis, and Robert Gordon.

Is there a Fossil Free campaign at your university? Get in touch and add your voice to Wild to tell us about what you do and how students at your university can get involved. 

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