University of Edinburgh to divest from fossil fuels in three years

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 6 February 2018 in News

The university announced the move as part of its plans to become carbon neutral by 2040

The University of Edinburgh will divest from fossil fuels completely within the next three years, it has announced.

The university announced the move following a meeting of the university court, the institution’s decision making body, as part of its plans to become carbon neutral by 2040.

Investment in fossil fuels currently makes up less than one percent of the total University of Edinburgh fund, worth around £1bn.

However the University will continue to engage with fossil fuel companies in its research and teaching.

Professor Charlie Jeffery, the University’s senior vice-principal said: “I’m very proud of the University’s decision. Climate change is one of the world’s biggest challenges.

“Over the past few years, we have thought hard about how to respond to that challenge. This change in our investment strategy is a vital step on that journey.”

The University of Edinburgh has the largest endowment fund of any university in Scotland, with the decision making it the largest university fund in the UK to divest from fossil fuels.

In May 2015, the University signalled its intention to use its investments and procurement power to support the transition to a low carbon economy and to divest from the most fossil fuel companies. Its Climate Strategy 2016 includes a new commitment to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Oliver Glick, Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s vice president community, said:  “We are delighted with today’s announcement. Students and the Students’ Association have been passionate about removing fossil fuel investment from the University’s portfolio for many years. Through constructive engagement with the University, who have been open to our viewpoints, the work of student groups such as People and Planet, myself and my predecessors, along with many others has paid off.”

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