Mapped: The UK Universities that have Pledged to Divest from Fossil Fuels

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divestment protest

Are you a student thinking about where to go to university? Do you care about the environment, and companies whose activities are responsible for climate change?

There is a sense of momentum among the UK movement urging universities to divest from fossil fuels, and reinvest in low carbon technologies, which has been gaining traction since 2012.

Universities are major investors. Campaigners are trying to use this fact to encourage institutions to withdraw their support for the fossil fuel industry by selling their shares in dirty energy companies — also known as divestment.

Decision on Landmark New UK Opencast Coal Mine Delayed

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Druridge Bay, Northumberland

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has decided to delay a landmark decision on whether to give the go ahead to a new UK coal mine.

The decision on whether to allow a proposed new opencast coal mine near the Northumberland beauty spot of Druridge Bay was due today.

A representative for the Secretary of State wrote a letter to campaigners, seen by DeSmog UK, to apologise for the delay, saying Javid was “not in a position to publish on the application”.

Activists Come Together to ‘End the Story’ of European Coal

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ende gelände march

Is the coal industry on its last legs in Europe? A quick look at the statistics suggests it might be.

Since 2007, coal power production has fallen by about 20 percent, and several EU countries, including the UK, have pledged to phase-out coal completely before 2030.

But coal is not dead yet.

Coal Mining Jobs in Britain Fall by Half Compared to Last Year

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Coal mining jobs in Britain

The number of people working in coal mining in Britain has dropped by half compared to this time last year the latest statistics show.

According to employment numbers compiled by the Coal Authority and seen by DeSmog UK, 732 people worked in coal mining jobs in June 2017. This is compared to 1,381 employed in June 2016.

In an effort to tackle climate change the UK has pledged to phase out all unabated coal (coal without carbon capture and storage technology) by 2025. In 2016 emissions from coal dropped by 50 percent compared to the previous year and coal use continues to reach record lows. In April, Britain had its first ever coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution.

UK Among World’s Top Investors in Thermal Coal, New Report Shows

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The UK is the largest European investor in thermal coal production and is among the top ten biggest investors globally according to a new report by Influence Map.

As the new report published today shows, UK shareholders own a total 0.9 percent stake in the world’s thermal coal reserves. British Investment bank Elara Capital (the world’s eighth biggest investor in thermal coal) has $15 million worth of assets under management representing 170 million tons of coal reserves.

Influence map analysed the links between coal mines, the companies that operate the mines, and the shareholders (such as pension funds and banks) invested in these companies. There is a total of about $185 billion in shareholder value tied to the 117 listed thermal coal producers and owners.

UK Coal Industry Gets Hundreds of Millions in Subsidies Each Year, Report Finds

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Drax coal power

The UK has given an average €434.5 million (£368 million) in subsidies to the coal industry each year between 2005 and 2016 new research by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has found.

The new report published today by ODI shows that European countries are continuing to support coal despite pledges to phase out the polluting fossil fuel by 2020 (or 2025 in the case of the UK and Ireland).

According to the report, Europe’s 10 largest carbon emitters – responsible for 84 percent of the continent’s emissions – have given €6.3 billion (£5.33 billion) in subsidies to coal each year over the past decade.

Fossil Fuel Lobby Celebrates as EU Gives Coal Subsidies a Lifeline

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Coal power plant by a canal

Many hoped the EU’s mammoth new energy regulations would crack down on dirty coal. Instead, the European Commission bowed to industry pressure and offered the world’s dirtiest power source a lifeline.

And Brexit means the UK could end up offering even more fossil fuel subsidies than its neighbours.

The commission on Wednesday released its 1000-page vision for the region’s energy system, known as the energy package.

Among the many new clauses and directives was the revelation that governments could continue to subsidise coal power for a further eight years through capacity mechanism schemes.

Coal Is Not a Solution to Poverty, Campaigners Tell Marrakech Climate Negotiations

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Campaigners protest against coal power investments at COP22 climate talks in Marrakech

Energy access is critical to lifting people out of poverty, but not if it is coal-powered.

That’s the message campaigners from 120 development agencies brought to the international climate talks in Marrakech ahead of a day dedicated to business voices.

Climate Activists Occupy Welsh Coal Mine as Part of Global Wave of Fossil Fuel Protests

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Hundreds of protesters have descended on the UK’s largest coal mine, calling for the mining company to shut it down and ditch its plans to dig out a new one next door.
Climate activist group Reclaim the Power (RtP) set up its ‘End Coal Now’ camp on Sunday next to Ffos-y-fran opencast coalmine, near Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. They will occupy the site, which they’re powering with solar energy, until 4 May, the day before the Welsh Assembly elections.
The campaigners are demanding no new coal mines be built in the UK, a ban on opencast coal mining, and the creation of thousands of green jobs in Wales to support the transition away from fossil fuels.

A Quarter of European Countries Have Now Quit Coal

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Europe’s coal industry continues its downward spiral as a quarter of European Union countries have now closed their doors to the dirty energy source.

Belgium has become the latest country to shut down its last remaining coal-fired power station, Langerlo.

Announced on 30 March, Belgium follows Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and the Baltic countries in quitting the polluting fossil fuel.

The closure of Belgium’s Langerlo plant comes hot-on-the-heels of Scotland closing Britain’s largest coal-fired power station, Longannet, signalling the end of an era for Scottish coal.


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