In the wake of Cambridge University’s commitment to fully divest from fossil fuels by 2030 and the announcement earlier this week that Trinity Hall will divest from direct investments in fossil fuels within the next six months, Switchboard speaks to campaigners to investigate how they achieved this goal, and to outline the next steps.

Switchboard S2, Ep.8Juliet Babinksy

To start off the episode, we hear from Evan Wroe, a representative of the Cambridge Zero Carbon Society. He explains the aims of the society, as well as breaking down some of their demands and methods in the fight for divestment. (1:18).

Next, Jesus College Green Officer and representative for Jesus College climate justice campaign, Zak Coleman, talks to the hosts about the college specific campaign. Zak speaks about the campaign’s methods, and the need for Jesus College to commit to full divestment. (4:47).

Discussing the 2030 target, an anonymous spokesperson from Extinction Rebellion (XR) expresses their disappointment towards the University, arguing that full divestment needs to come sooner. They also consider the actions of XR youth in Cambridge, such as digging up Trinity College lawn, and the impacts that direct action has on the public perception of XR. (11:44).


Mountain View

Trinity Hall reveals ‘ambitious’ divestment plan

Continuing the conversation around XR, Evan Wroe speaks on the relationship between XR and Zero Carbon Society and shares his opinion of their action in Cambridge, as well as the general exclusivity of climate movement and the lack of commitment to anti-racism. (21:58).

Zak Coleman shares his thoughts on the commonality of direct action in climate protests, specifically referencing the protest that members of Jesus College conducted on their Old Court. (23:54).

Talk turns to strike action as hosts speak to Junayd and Luana who are members of Cambridge Youth Strike for Climate. They discuss their involvement in activism directed towards the Council, detailing its response and the ways in which the movement has adapted to limitations caused by the Covid pandemic. (27:04).

Finally, the hosts ask some of the guests about their hopes for the future, and how more people can get involved in demanding action on the climate crisis. (33:05).


Mountain View

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Switchboard is Varsity’s flagship podcast. Episodes are released every Friday on all major podcasting apps via Anchor. Transcripts of all episodes are available via this link.

The Cambridge community is now spread across the UK and around the world, but Switchboard is here to keep you connected. Every episode connects you to an eclectic array of voices and sounds, from Cambridge and beyond...