Lancaster Uni profs get on board with fossil fuel plea

Leading economists have called for an end to fossil fuel investment
Leading economists have called for an end to fossil fuel investment

Prominent professors from Lancaster University have joined experts from around the world in calling for an end to investments in fossil fuels.

Economist Camilla Toulmin and business expert Gail Whiteman have signed the Declaration on Climate Finance, which demands an end to investments in new fossil fuel production and infrastructure, and encourage a dramatic increase in investments in renewable energy.

Prof Camilla Toulmin.

Prof Camilla Toulmin.

The call to action has been issued in the lead up to the climate summit hosted by President Macron in Paris this week.

Prof Toulmin, a former Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and now Professor of Practice at the Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University, said: “We are standing on the threshold of a transformed economy, based on renewable energy, which can empower communities around the world.

“Yet there remain deep-rooted vested interests, founded on fossil fuels that hold us back.

“A step-change is urgently needed to speed momentum.

“Economists have often been part of the problem, by ignoring social and environmental dimensions of our world. Let’s commit to being part of the solution.”

The Declaration, which has been signed by economics, finance and mathematics professors from across the world, says that President Macron and other world leaders have already spoken out about the need for an increase in finance for climate solutions, “but they have remained largely silent about the other, dirtier side of the equation: the ongoing finance of new coal, oil and gas production and infrastructure”.

It adds: “Ongoing global climate change and environmental destructions are happening at an unprecedented scale, and it will take unprecedented actions to limit the worst consequences of our dependence on oil, coal, and gas. Equally as critical as drastically curbing the carbon intensity of our economic systems is the need for immediate and ambitious actions to stop exploration and expansion of fossil fuel projects and manage the decline of existing production in line with what is necessary to achieve the Paris climate goals.”