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Students call on parents to divest from fossil fuels



Campaign group Push Your Parents has released a video showing students calling on their parents to email their pension funds about divesting from fossil fuels. The video has been released to coincide with Global Divestment Day.

In the video, one student asks, “Dear Mum and Dad, did you know your pension is gambling with my future?” The video aims to start a conversation about climate change and the role pension funds, which often invest in fossil fuel companies, play in rising greenhouse gas emissions.

According to ShareAction, which partners with Push Your Parents, over £3 trillion of savers’ money is invested in pension funds, much of which is kept in shares in fossil fuel companies. This is despite a recent study highlighting the financial case for divestment, as well as the moral one. Research found the vast majority of fossil fuels must remain in the ground if the world is to avoid dangerous levels of climate change, as governments impose tougher regulations this is likely to impact on returns.

“The video aims to start the conversation between student and their parents,” said Matthias Lalisse, secretary at Push Your Parents.

“They can send it to their parents and grandparents, show them that they also have some skin in this game and that there is a lot they can do.”

The fossil fuel divestment movement is using its increasing momentum to pressure institutions, from universities to pension funds, to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies in its global day of action, taking place over February 13-14.

President of the organisation Sam Brook and co-founder Antoine Thalmann hope that the video will help raise awareness about the campaign, getting more students to ‘push their parents’.

Thalmann added, “We know that it’s not easy to ask our parents to email their pension fund. While it’s probably the single more impactful action one can take so easily, it remains an unfamiliar and unsexy topic. We hope that the video will change that.”

Photo: Lisa Murray via Flickr

Further reading:

Fossil fuel industry challenged as part of Global Divestment Day

Fossil fuel divestment campaigns can help ‘stigmatise’ industry

Global day of action for fossil fuel divestment announced

Pacific Island college commits to fossil fuel divestment

Divestment: University of London’s school freezes fossil fuels investment

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