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News > United Kingdom

Chomsky Joins Academics' Call to Divest from Fossil Fuel Sector

  • Chomsky joins Cambridge University academics urging the institution to divest from fossil fuel industries.

    Chomsky joins Cambridge University academics urging the institution to divest from fossil fuel industries. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 December 2018

Noam Chomsky joined British academics, mostly from Cambridge University, to call on the university to divest from fossil fuel industries. 

Academic, leftist activist and world-renowned linguist Noam Chomsky joined a group of British intellectuals, consisting mostly of Cambridge University academics calling on the university to divest from its almost US$8 billion endowments in fossil fuel industries.


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In an open letter Tuesday, over 200 Cambridge academics demanded transparency and accountability from the Cambridge Investment Office charged with maximizing the endowment via portfolio investments.

The letter called on Cambridge to divest from the fossil fuels industry “within five years.” Chomsky and ten other academics from other universities also issued a statement saying, “It is time Cambridge University listened to the science and its own academics.”

Referencing an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report from October, the statement said that global greenhouse gas emissions would be needed to cut by around 45 percent before 2030 to limit an alarming rate of global warming.

This call for divestment came six months after the university council ruled against full divestment.    

University students have been protesting since last month appealing to the University to “disarm, divest, decolonize.”

The students called “for the removal of the links pertaining to the money, knowledge, and power placed with companies such as Shell and BAE, whose practices rooted in colonialism cause damage across the globe.”

A blockade by the students organized by members of Cambridge Zero Carbon, Cambridge Decolonise Network, Cambridge Defend Education, and Demilitarise Cambridge, affected five entrances to the University’s five main administrative buildings including Senate House and Old Schools.

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