The activist group Scientists for Future, Students for Tomorrow, the Young Academy and the local Young Academies jointly urge their research universities and universities of applied sciences to switch to more climate-aware financial service providers. They make this appeal in a letter they sent to all institutions of higher education this Tuesday.

Paris Agreement

According to the signatories to the letter, who emphasise the scientific consensus about the need to take action on climate change, the institutions should take the lead on sustainability. “If global heating is limited to 1.5°C, the climate risks for human and natural ecosystems will be substantially less”, they write. In 2015, countries adopted the Paris Agreement to slow the rate of global heating. At the time, all Dutch research universities and universities of applied sciences confirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement and described what they would do to help achieve its targets.

But according to the activists, seven years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, all banks and insurers used by Dutch knowledge institutions ‘are still major lenders to the fossil fuel sector, a sector whose plans are contrary to the Paris target’.

bezetting-sandersgebouw-28-11-Wouter-Sterrenburg-4

Read more

Erasmus Trust Fund does invest in fossil industries

The Erasmus Trust Fund will continue to invest in the fossil fuel industry, in spite of…

Fossil fuels

The letter cites the example of ING, which invested 10.7 million dollars in the fossil fuel sector in 2021. Other Dutch banks invested smaller but still substantial amounts in the sector. Only Triodos Bank, Volksbank and Bunq invest mainly in sustainable energy. The signatories write that Dutch insurers also invest in fossil fuel companies, and they claim that none of the nine biggest insurers in the Netherlands exclude investments in the fossil fuel sector.

By contrast, Dutch pension fund ABP in 2021 already took the decision to cease all investments in the fossil fuel sector in response to persistent criticism from research universities and universities of applied sciences.

bezetting-sandersgebouw-28-11-Wouter-Sterrenburg-4

Read more

Erasmus Trust Fund does invest in fossil industries

The Erasmus Trust Fund will continue to invest in the fossil fuel industry, in spite of…

Occupations

This Monday, students occupied a building of the University of Amsterdam to protest against the university’s alleged ties with oil company Shell. At the end of last year, similar occupations took place at Eindhoven University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

This Wednesday, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science and the Minister of Economic Affairs were asked questions about this in parliament by GroenLinks. This party asked, among other things, for stricter rules to be introduced for financial support for research offered by companies from the fossil fuel sector.

Read more

Police clears UvA building within a day

On Monday, activists from various groups held a protest march because the UvA allegedly…