Support the DSU changing from HSBC to an ethical bank that does not invest in Canadian Tar Sands sign now

Hello everyone,

People and Planet's Durham society are putting forward a motion at an upcoming Council meeting for the DSU to stop banking with HSBC. We want the DSU to change to an ethical bank that does not invest in the Canadian Tar Sands.

The extraction of oil from the tar sands in Canada accounts for the largest single amount of CO2 being emitted on earth, making the industry extremely damaging to the environment. HSBC, along with other major banks such as Barclays, have helped finance the tar sands.

York and St Andrews Student Unions have already changed banks to end investment in the tar sands. We believe Durham University has a responsibility to act as a beacon to other institutions. By changing banks and moving away from tar sands and unethical investors, we would be adding support to the anti-tar sands movement and indicating that it is not acceptable to invest in such a destructive industry.

We need as much support as possible to show the DSU that this issue is important to students.

Thank you.

(Note: please enter your full name when signing the petition, and if possible add which college or department you are from.)

Below is the motion we plan on putting forward to the Council meeting, with further details:

Tar Sands-Free DSU Motion

This Union Notes:
-That the DSU funds are held currently with HSBC.
-That HSBC funds companies involved in the extraction of the Canadian tar sands.

This Union Believes:
-That tackling climate change and promoting sustainable development are some of the biggest challenges that our generation faces.
-That the funding of tar sand extraction by HSBC is having a considerable negative impact on the environment, as well as many local communities, and ties us into a fossil-fuel dependent future.
-By funding new extraction projects that will run for decades, HSBC is ensuring higher CO2 emissions long into our future and limiting the impact of all other efforts to combat climate change.
-That the funding of such projects is not in accordance with our own efforts to reduce our environmental impact as part of our principles to combat climate change.
-That our Union funds should be managed with these principles in mind.

This Union Resolves:
-To mandate the Finance committee and the Environment Officer to explore alternative, ethical banking options.
-To mandate the DSU President to contact HSBC expressing our concern as a customer over their funding of tar sand extraction, requesting that they
• Calculate and publish embedded emissions resulting from loans to oil, gas and coal projects.
• Cap embedded emissions and set annual targets for reductions.
• Commit to a complete transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy lending.
• Establish ‘no-go’ areas for lending: immediately halt loans to unconventional fossil fuels (eg. tar sands) and which affect sensitive ecosystems such as rainforests. Funding for new unabated coal power generation in the global North should also immediately be stopped.
to allow us to be sure our funds are being managed responsibly.
-If the above conditions are not met in nine months, to further mandate the DSU to switch funds to an account deemed appropriate by Finance Committee and agreed by the Executive Committee, and to close our accounts with HSBC explaining our reasons for doing so.

Tar Sands/HSBC information:
-p12- Tar sands extraction process is “more emissions intensive than that of conventional oil sources”, making it more damaging to the planet.
-p13- The safe level of atmospheric carbon is 350ppm. Currently we are at 387ppm, increasing by 2ppm every year. “Tar sands exploitation moves us even further away from the possibility of stabilising at below 350ppm”.
-Furthermore, there are many more local effects to Alberta, such as degradation of the ecosystem, biodiversity, and water as well as deforestation.
-First Nation communities (p15) are facing alarming health issues, including cancer increase, fish/game with “boils and lesions” and “tumours”.
This is evidently a human rights issue (p16) as “health, ecosystems, subsistence and way of life are being impacted”.

-p7- HSBC has been “involved in providing significant sums of project or corporate finance for oil extraction from the Canadian tar sands.”
-Looking at “the finance that RBS, Barclays and HSBC have made to companies that are engaged in tar sands over a three year period from January 2007 through to December 2009”: (p23) HSBC is responsible for US$8,156.64 million corporate debt underwriting and US$666.67 million in loans.
p29- Two case studies involving HSBC support:
- Enbridge, which “operates the world’s longest crude oil and petroleum products pipeline system…”
(P31) - Shell- “HSBC also underwrote the March 2007 debt, as well as underwriting with Barclays $2.2 billion of corporate debt in May 2009.”
-“Shell owns 60%, a majority share, of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project.”

Sign The Petition

Sign with Facebook

If you already have an account please sign in, otherwise register an account for free then sign the petition filling the fields below.
Email and the password will be your account data, you will be able to sign other petitions after logging in.

Privacy in the search engines? You can use a nickname:

Attention, the email address you supply must be valid in order to validate the signature, otherwise it will be deleted.

I confirm registration and I agree to Usage and Limitations of Services

I confirm that I have read the Privacy Policy

I agree to the Personal Data Processing


Who signed this petition saw these petitions too:

Sign The Petition

Sign with Facebook

If you already have an account please sign in


I confirm registration and I agree to Usage and Limitations of Services

I confirm that I have read the Privacy Policy

I agree to the Personal Data Processing

42 / 1000

Latest Signatures

browse all the signatures


Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
The Durham Students Union

Petition community:
Durham University students


bank, change, durham, hsbc, invest, student, students union, tar sands


Invite friends from your address book

Embed Codes

direct link

link for html

link for forum without title

link for forum with title