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KCL Fossil Free Careers Campaign Ratified by Union

KCL FFC team outside Bush House
Image courtesy of People & Planet

The Students’ Union (KCLSU) has ratified a student campaign urging King’s College London (KCL) not to promote careers in the oil and gas industry.

Fossil Free Careers (FFC), which describes its mission as pushing KCL “to take responsibility for building the sustainable, ethical workforce we need to transition to a just and equitable energy system and low-carbon economy”, was ratified as a KCLSU campaign after receiving signatures from 50 students.

The campaign’s three goals are to pressure KCL to:

  • refuse all new relationships with oil, gas or mining companies;
  • decline to renew any current relationships with oil, gas or mining companies after the contractually obligated period ends;
  • adopt a publicly available Ethical Careers Policy that explicitly excludes oil, gas and mining companies from recruitment opportunities.

FFC is supported by People & Planet, an environmentalist campaign group led by students. The organisation states that “by promoting careers in extractive companies, they are assisting these harmful, unsustainable industries to present themselves as an acceptable part of our present and future.”

KCLSU is the seventeenth students’ union to endorse the FFC campaign. Seven universities have already cut ties between their career services and the fossil fuel industry, although this does not include any Russell Group institutions.

Julia Pressner, FFC Campaign Lead and Chair of KCL Climate Action, said:

“It is clear that students recognise the futile future of the fossil fuel industry. And now, with support from KCLSU, we hope King’s College London will understand how dire the situation really is, and how important it is to the student body for them to end relationships with oil, gas, and mining companies, and adopt an Ethical Careers Policy”

KCLSU told Roar that it was ‘proud’ to be supporting KCL students in the campaign.

“As a democratic membership-led organisation KCLSU supports and funds members to develop campaigns that will make change for King’s students. KCLSU campaigns are ratified through a democratic process of both petition receiving signatures from at least 50 members and approval from the elected student officers. By supporting the King’s Fossil Free Careers student campaign lead and other students passionate about making a difference on campus, KCLSU strives to amplify student voices while holding KCL to account. The Fossil Free Careers campaign recognises the university’s commitment for itself to divest from fossil fuels and responds to a need among King’s students for the university’s careers service to stop encouraging King’s students pursue careers in oil, gas and mining industries as well as commit to an Ethical Careers Policy and sever all ties with the fossil fuel industry.”

KCLSU Spokesperson

King’s first committed to divesting from fossil fuels in 2017 and achieved this, ahead of schedule, in 2021. However, the university has recently reneged on its commitment to become net zero by 2025, a move which they stated was due to a move away from carbon offsets. It is difficult to determine if the absolute emissions targets were weakened by this change.

Roar has approached KCL for a statement.

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