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Referenda Case

All Student Vote (Autumn 2020)

Warwick University to fully divest from all unethical industries and release all investments

This Union Notes:

This section should include any facts, figures or statements that you believe are relevant to the topic of your policy. Remember in this section clear and effective referencing is important.

1. The University has pledged to divest from Fossil fuels1 but has not reinvested any divested funds into low carbon/ renewable energy or communities owned renewable energy.2

2. The University has an estimated endowment fund of £81,500,0003 but has no student representation on their investment committee.4 Further, despite divesting from direct investments in Fossil Fuels the University has not excluded banks such as Barclays that are financing Fossil fuel.5

3. The University does not publicly list its investments and has in fact resisted multiple FOI attempts to reveal their investment portfolio6

4. In the latest People and Planet report the University of Warwick scored 0/50 for screening specific sectors from their investments.7 These sectors include: Fossil Fuel Companies, Corporations complicit in the violation of international law, Arms companies.

5. The University is working with companies that are directly complicit in human rights violations, such as arms companies (BAE Systems),8 and other companies (JCB9 , Thales10, etc.) that are complicit in the massacres against and displacement of Palestinians, and maintaining the Israeli Apartheid regime.

 

This Union Believes:

This section should include opinions or supporting statements for your policy.

1. The University should release a full list of all of its direct and indirect investments (including the pension fund) - this list should be released annually and published publicly.

2. The University should invest in environmental and social justice solutions that have measurable, real world impacts.

3. The University should transform governance to adopt responsible investment policies that support a sustainable future. This means suitable student and staff representation on their investment committee.

4. The University should actively engage with all its investments to influence wider corporate behaviour change

5. The University should divest from industries that are both compliant and in direct violation of human rights, including those that aid Israeli Apartheid.

 

This Union Resolves:

This section should be about how you want the SU to react, the outcome of this policy. Remember to mandate specific departments/sabbatical officers; this will make things easier for future accountability

1. To mandate the Environment and Ethics Officer and the Democracy and Development Officer to pressure the University to use its shareholdings to engage companies and vote at AGMs for environmental and social justice, e.g. for company low carbon transition plans.

2. To mandate the Environment and Ethics officers and the Democracy and Development Officer to pressure the University to allocate 10%11 of investments to directly finance solutions to environmental and social challenges, such as renewable energy or social housing projects.

3. To mandate the Environment and Ethics officers and the Democracy and Development Officer to pressure the University to divest from companies that are both complicit and in direct violation of human rights, including Palestinians’ human rights.

4. To mandate the Environment and Ethics officer and the Democracy and Development Officer to pressure the University to consult with students and staff and develop a thorough, ethical and socially responsible investment policy setting standards for investment manager reviews and appointments.

5. To mandate the Environment and Ethics officer and the Democracy and Development Officer to lobby the university to release a full list of all of its direct and indirect investments, including those investments it has made on behalf of others such as the staff pension fund - this list should be released annually and published publicly.