Fossil fuel campaign

RGU in Aberdeen will no longer invest in oil & gas

Robert Gordon University
Robert Gordon joins Aberdeen in opposing oil and gas

Robert Gordon has become the second university in Aberdeen to say it will not invest in oil and gas companies.

After Aberdeen University announced a similar measure in 2021 it means the two institutions directly oppose fossil fuel extraction in the city known as the Oil Capital of Europe. Robert Gordon becomes the 103rd UK university to take such action.

The announcement comes after a year-long campaign from RGU Go Green student organisers, who are a part of People & Planet – the UK’s largest student climate justice campaigns network.

The Fossil Free campaign demands that UK universities exclude the fossil fuel industry from their investments.  

Robert Gordon University committed to the exclusion of fossil fuel companies fromits investments despite a number of wider links to the industry, including courses that are specific to the oil and gas industry and members of their board of governors having current or historical ties to the fossil fuel and energy sectors.

Laura Clayson, climate campaigns manager at People & Planet, said: “A huge congratulations to the formidable RGU Go Green for securing this victory! Robert Gordon University’s commitment to Fossil Free is a massive win for both Aberdeen and the wider Fossil Free movement.

“It means that all universities in the ‘Oil Capital of Europe’ are committed to the just transition that we so desperately need, and that frontline and Indigenous communities have been demanding for decades. 

“This shows too that universities in Scotland are committed to a fossil free future, which we hope heartens those resisting the government-backed Rosebank oil field off Shetland. We look forward to Robert Gordon excluding border industry companies next, in recognition of the intersections between climate and migrant justice.”

Veronica Strachan, university secretary and vice principal corporate services at Robert Gordon, said: “At Robert Gordon University we are committed to playing an important role in the energy transition in the North East, UK and indeed across the globe through addressing skill needs and working with companies through collaborative research and knowledge exchange which drives environmental sustainability.

“While we are committed to working with the sector to deliver on its future energy ambitions, the University already directly invests less than 0.01% in oil and gas companies and will continue to divest itself of all investments in companies engaged directly in fossil fuel extraction by December 2025.”

Scott Herrett, Aberdeen just transition organiser at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “It sends a clear message to oil and gas companies, especially based here in Aberdeen, that it’s simply not ok to continue to drill for more oil and gas, especially in the North Sea.

“It sends a message to the young people in Aberdeen, that there is no future for them in the oil and gas industry, instead we need to be focusing on teaching, training our young people, and existing oil and gas workers in industries and jobs that bring about a fairer and fossil free world.”

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