Extinction Rebellion (XR) Cambridge, XR Youth Cambridge, and XR Universities Cambridge welcome the news that Trinity College will divest 95% of its immense £1.5 billion endowment fund from all fossil fuel companies by the end of the year. We hope Trinity's divestment will demonstrate to other institutions across the UK and the world that supporting the fossil fuel industry means complicity in environmental destruction, and that it is now clear that investing in ecocide is not acceptable.
However, if Trinity wants to demonstrate that the climate truly matters deeply to them, they must sever all their ties to the fossil fuel industry, not just their investments ties. This includes their teaching decisions, career guidance, and banking with Barclays, the biggest funder of fossil fuel infrastructure in Europe.
The divestment decision comes after months of action from XR and years of campaigning by members of the Cambridge community, students, staff, and others affected by Trinity's investments. XR Cambridge turned to direct action, including the globally controversial digging up of Trinity's lawn in February 2020, after years of traditional campaigning were ignored by the college. While this divestment announcement is a huge step in the right direction, it should not have taken Trinity so long to act. Elite institutions such as the University of Cambridge and its colleges need to recognise their role in the climate and ecological crisis and the fatal impacts already keenly felt in the Global South. We hope Trinity stays true to its word and inspires other colleges to follow suit.