Student coalition urges S'pore universities to cut ties with fossil fuel firms by 2030

17/1/2022 4:43:00 PM

Student coalition urges S'pore universities to cut ties with fossil fuel firms by 2030

Climate Change, Universities

Student coalition urges S'pore universities to cut ties with fossil fuel firms by 2030

SINGAPORE — Stopping all funding for scholarships and research from fossil fuel companies are among key recommendations made by a coalition of students urging universities to distance themselves from this heavily polluting industry, in a report the group published on Monday (Jan 17).

The report also stated that NTU has two members in its board of trustees who were senior leaders in fossil fuel companies, while NUS, Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Yale-NUS have one member each. Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) has one board member who is currently a senior leader in a fossil fuel company.

S4F urges Singapore universities to divest themselves of fossil fuels and seek sustainable alternatives to replace existing partnerships, sponsorships and funding from the fossil fuel industry.In one to two yearsImplement climate crisis education for all students in the universities

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Student coalition highlights 'extensive' links between Singapore universities and fossil fuel industry, urges full divestment by 2030SINGAPORE: A coalition of students in Singapore has called on universities to transition away from the fossil fuel industry by 2030, as part of a report the group released on Monday (Jan 17) detailing \u0022extensive\u0022 links between the parties. Titled Fossil-Fuelled Why their coalition matters:

Student coalition highlights 'extensive' links between Singapore universities and fossil fuel industry, urges full divestment by 2030SINGAPORE: A coalition of students in Singapore has called on universities to transition away from the fossil fuel industry by 2030, as part of a report the group released on Monday (Jan 17) detailing \u0022extensive\u0022 links between the parties. Titled Fossil-Fuelled Why their coalition matters:

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The 68-page report, titled “Fossil-Fuelled Universities”, details what the group said are extensive links between Singapore’s universities and the fossil fuel industry in the areas of finance, management, academia, professional development and the usage of campus spaces.LinkedIn SINGAPORE: A coalition of students in Singapore has called on universities to transition away from the fossil fuel industry by 2030, as part of a report the group released on Monday (Jan 17) detailing "extensive" links between the parties.LinkedIn SINGAPORE: A coalition of students in Singapore has called on universities to transition away from the fossil fuel industry by 2030, as part of a report the group released on Monday (Jan 17) detailing "extensive" links between the parties.LinkedIn LIMA: Peru's Health Minister Hernando Cevallos has called on COVID-19 vaccine companies to extend expiration dates past the current three months to reduce the risk of losing doses.

According to the report, endowment investments of both the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have indirect exposure to fossil fuels. While NUS has a “low single digit” percentage of fossil fuel exposure, equating to about S$59 million, NTU has not revealed their percentage, the report said. It was published by Students for a Fossil Free Future (S4F), a coalition made up of 40 students from the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and Yale-NUS College. The report also stated that NTU has two members in its board of trustees who were senior leaders in fossil fuel companies, while NUS, Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Yale-NUS have one member each. According to the report, NUS and NTU both have endowment funds that are "indirectly" invested in fossil fuels. Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) has one board member who is currently a senior leader in a fossil fuel company. For NUS, this sum is"at least S$5. Students for a Fossil Free Future (S4F), a student coalition formed in 2019, consists of more than 40 students from NUS, NTU, SUTD, SMU and Yale-NUS (which was recently merged to become NUS College). "The situation that the affected countries are facing must be understood, particularly in Latin America, due to the economic difficulties we're going through," Cevallos said.

They are seeking urgent action to address climate change.9 billion.9 billion. KEY RECOMMENDATIONS BY S4F S4F urges Singapore universities to divest themselves of fossil fuels and seek sustainable alternatives to replace existing partnerships, sponsorships and funding from the fossil fuel industry. They also recommend universities to integrate climate crisis education into their curriculum.5 billion. Here are a few of the proposed recommendations by S4F: In one to two years Restrict the appointment of individuals who currently hold or previously held senior leadership positions in a fossil fuel company to universities’ boards Remove name branding of fossil fuel companies for scholarships and prizes where money is guaranteed in trusts Implement climate crisis education for all students in the universities In three to five years Secure alternative funding from industries committed to a post-carbon transition to replace scholarships and prizes that are currently associated with the fossil fuel industry. The other four local universities contacted by the student coalition - SMU, SUTD, SIM Global Education and Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) - did not disclose their exposure to fossil fuel-linked assets, the report said. Discontinue existing sponsorship programmes with fossil fuel companies. "By investing in the fossil fuel industry, universities both financially support the industry and demonstrate confidence in the industry to deliver long-term returns," the authors said. Nor is there any flexibility in expiration dates after they have entered the country," Cevallos said.

Expand opportunities, resources, and support for university stakeholders to research, learn about, and take action on climate change and climate justice within their departments and units By 2030 Fully divest the universities of all financial holdings from fossil fuel companies and fossil fuel-linked assets. Discontinue all funding for scholarships, prizes, and research associated with the fossil fuel industry. Related: Singapore youths call on country’s leaders to ‘boldly accelerate’ climate action BOARD MEMBERS, SCHOLARSHIPS WITH FOSSIL FUEL LINKS Beyond fossil fuel-linked investments, the report also raised concerns about possible"conflicts of interest", pointing out the presence of fossil fuel industry leaders - past and present - sitting on university boards. Related: Singapore youths call on country’s leaders to ‘boldly accelerate’ climate action BOARD MEMBERS, SCHOLARSHIPS WITH FOSSIL FUEL LINKS Beyond fossil fuel-linked investments, the report also raised concerns about possible"conflicts of interest", pointing out the presence of fossil fuel industry leaders - past and present - sitting on university boards. Cease prevailing industry partnership programmes with fossil fuel companies and the hosting of fossil fuel companies at on-campus career events. When asked about the feasibility of these measures, Mr Shawn Ang, a member of the S4F team said the coalition understands it may be difficult for universities to integrate all of these recommendations. "We encourage such members to share about their decision or rationale with the university or public. Mr Ang, an NTU undergraduate student, acknowledged that it may be difficult for universities to dismiss individuals who are already on the universities’ boards. "Given that Board members have significant social standing and influence, such sharing will increase the importance which the public, students, and educators place on sustainability and combating climate change," the report added. Peru has a population of about 33 million.

In these cases, he hopes these individuals can share their thoughts on SF4’s recommendations and offer solutions, since they have greater experience in the industry. The report also highlighted linkages in academia, where some scholarships and awards were funded by companies with links to the fossil fuel industry. But in terms of ceasing investments in fossil fuel companies, he believes it is possible for universities, especially NUS and NTU, to take this action since they currently have only a small fraction of investments in such companies. He suggested universities implement an “investment screen” to screen out fossil-fuel related companies when choosing potential investments, in the same way as universities currently screen out tobacco-related investments. "CO-OPTING" OF CAMPUS SPACES The report was also critical of what it termed the"co-opting" of campus spaces by fossil fuel companies. "CO-OPTING" OF CAMPUS SPACES The report was also critical of what it termed the"co-opting" of campus spaces by fossil fuel companies. “We want to start getting our community to question and think about such partnerships and if these are things we want for our institutions. This can then be a starting point for wider conversations,” the 23-year-old said. While the report recognised the value of the event in giving students opportunities to put up music performances, it said the sponsorship also allowed ExxonMobil to"promote itself to a wide university audience (and) cultivate a positive image and downplay their environmentally and socially harmful activities".

WHAT THE UNIVERSITIES SAY Both NTU and SMU provided comments in response to TODAY's queries. "These companies can thus capitalise on universities' reputations to improve their own brand image among university or public stakeholders who attend these events and use these spaces," the report said. SMU said: “SMU is actively developing our approach to environmental, social and governance issues on a university-wide basis, of which responsible investment is one important element. "Such practices also normalise the ubiquitous presence of fossil fuel companies that are active contributors to the climate crisis. We have initiated a process which will take us forward in important ways in the short, medium and long term.” An NTU spokesperson said the university is committed to achieving carbon neutrality, along with a 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, by 2035. "Fossil fuel companies who have not credibly committed to a post-carbon transition should not be allowed to purchase positive branding and social acceptance from our universities," the report said. "Fossil fuel companies who have not credibly committed to a post-carbon transition should not be allowed to purchase positive branding and social acceptance from our universities," the report said. The university’s investment fund does not specifically target the fossil fuel industry, the spokesperson added.

TODAY has also reached out to the other universities mentioned in the report for comment." RECOMMENDATIONS The report presented a set of recommendations for universities to address the fossil fuel industry’s"associations" with"professional development functions" of the universities. Related topics . They include divesting all financial holdings from fossil fuel companies and fossil fuel-linked assets by 2030, as well as developing plans to secure alternative modes of funding from companies committed to reducing carbon emissions.