Carla Denyer with students holding a banner reading 'fossil free careers'

Green Party of England and Wales co-leader Carla Denyer has publicly backed the Fossil Free Careers Campaign at University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. The Fossil Free Careers campaign is calling for an end to activities which seek to recruit students into the fossil fuel industry on university campuses. It is coordinated by the student campaign network People & Planet.

For the last two years, students and staff at UWE and University of Bristol have been campaigning to ban oil, gas, and mining companies from recruiting on campus.

After hearing from students about their campaign, Denyer, who is the Greens’ parliamentary candidate for Bristol Central, said: “It’s high time that UWE Bristol and the University of Bristol listen to their students, step up to their climate responsibilities, and finally make a commitment to stop inviting oil, gas, and mining companies to recruit students on campus. Instead of pushing graduates into roles in the very industries driving the climate crisis, Bristol’s universities should be working to help build the workforce we need to meet our ambitious climate targets and contribute to Bristol’s growing green economy.”

Seven universities have so far committed to end fossil free recruitment on their campuses. Wrexham Glyndwr University became the first university to do so in December 2022. Since, the University of Bedfordshire, University of the Arts London, Bishop Grosseteste University, Royal College of Art, University for the Creative Arts and Swansea University have also done so.

Speaking on Denyer’s support, Izzy Russell – Bristol Students’ Union Student Living Officer, said: “Bristol Students’ Union was the first in the UK to vote for the Fossil Free Careers motion, and since then (2 years ago) we’ve continued campaigning for the University to end fossil fuel recruitment on campus. We’re thrilled to have the support of Carla, and hope that this means university management come back to the table and listen to their students. She was instrumental in the university’s divestment of unsustainable banking; next we need oil, gas and mining recruiters off our campus for good.”

These comments were echoed by Hazel Morfett, UWE Climate Society campaigner. Morfett said: “It was so great to chat with Carla Denyer today about the crucial fight to get renewable careers front and centre for students. UWE Climate Society want the UWE Careers Service to be as brave as the student climate activists and commit to doing something which ensures a future on this planet.  We know it’s scary to step up and do something which challenges convention, but this is how we change the world.”

George Calascione – Co-Chair of Bristol Young Greens, said: “The Students’ Union successfully voted to boycott mining, gas and oil recruitment from Bristol university. Now, with Carla Denyer’s backing, we are urging university management to listen to their students and ban this type of recruitment from campus. As co-chair of the Bristol Young Greens, I am frequently hearing from young people that they are increasingly concerned about the environment and the world they will inherit. This isn’t just for our generation, but for generations to come.”

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