Divestment has ridden high on the student campaigns agenda for this term. The new campaign group Zero Carbon, founded this academic year, has set itself an ambitious target – to make the University of Cambridge withdraw all investment associated with fossil fuels. As this column has previously noted, the campaign got off to a shaky start. A damp squib of a student campaign over the river Cam in week four was an insult to such an important issue.
For their next trick, it seems like Zero Carbon has understood that it needs to start small in order to chip away at an issue so as to make big changes. This week’s protest gathering was reasonably well-attended, and was staged in a prominent public space with a lot of through traffic.
The campaign has also won the support of Cambridge’s MP, Daniel Zeichner, which will no doubt increase pressure on the University in the coming months.
The hope is that the campaign can learn from this term over Christmas, and return in January with the knowledge that to make big change you must start small, and that this campaign will take time to win.