A big thank you to all who came to our Divestment webinar in July. We were delighted to welcome Ben Caldecott (Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme) and student campaigner Anna Olerinyova to share their perspectives.
For those who were unable to attend, a recording of the webinar is now available here.
Ben covered the complexities of the financial system while Anna spoke about her experience of occupying St John’s College and the importance of activism more generally. Both identified various levers of influence – for example, Ben highlighted the importance of government regulation and of reducing the cost of capital for fossil fuel companies, whilst Anna focused on the need to remove their ‘social licence to operate’ and argued investment in fossil fuels was a ‘matter of morality’.
So where should we, as individuals, focus our efforts? Suggestions from Ben and Anna included ‘voting with our feet’ both in relation to political parties and companies; getting involved in political parties and local politics, including lobbying of local politicians; influencing organisations from the inside where possible; and joining groups and campaigns, whether local or national.
We now plan to take forward these ideas and the range of questions from the webinar to explore further specific suggestions for individual actions, and hope to share more on this soon.