Fight against climate change in Africa gets boost as Tutu endorses student call for UCT to go fossil free
Climate change movement 350.org Africa today welcomed news that South Africa's Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has endorsed a campaign by students and staff at the University of Cape Town calling on the university to get its money out of fossil fuel investments.
In a letter to the university dated 18th July 2014 Archbishop Tutu said, "climate change has become a profound and growing human rights issue, a threat to all of us, and to the world's poorest, who are least responsible for it, most of all.
"It is the world's wealthiest countries and people who have benefited most from the use of fossil fuels, and have contributed most to global warming. It is time we took full responsibility for our past actions. People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change. I ask UCT to examine urgently the extent of your investments in fossil fuel companies and to make a strong commitment to phasing them out as soon as possible."
‘Fossil Free' divestment campaigns have been gathering momentum across the world as student and community campaigners have called for educational and religious institutions, city and state governments and other institutions that serve the public good to divest from fossil fuels.
Ferrial Adam, 350.org Africa and Arab world Team Leader, backed the campaign saying:
"Students and staff calling on UCT to get its investments out of fossil fuels are helping lead the fight against climate and 350.org Africa wholeheartedly endorses their campaign.
"If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is also wrong to profit from that wreckage. Coal and fossil fuels need to stay in the ground if we are to have any chance of reducing CO2 emissions, minimise global warming and prevent more Africans being affected by rising temperatures and increases in drought and flooding.
"Africa will be hardest hit by the impacts of climate change so it is fitting that fossil fuel divestment campaigns have now reached our continent. This is just the beginning."