University of Bristol and University of Edinburgh latest to announce fossil fuel divestment

Two UK universities have joined the growing number of institutions that have committed to divesting from the fossil fuel industry.

The University of Bristol announced last week it has divested all investments in companies that derive more than five per cent of their income from the most carbon intensive sectors of the fossil fuel industry. Meanwhile University of Edinburgh announced yesterday that it will complete its transition out of fossil fuel investments within three years.

Bristol’s divestment follows a pledge made last year to focus investments in the energy sector to companies which are having the greatest impact on reducing carbon emissions. The decision followed a campaign by the University's Fossil Free Society which praised the move as 'one of the clearest and most wide-ranging in Britain'.

Robert Kerse, Chief Financial Officer at the University of Bristol, said: "Our aim was to end investment in companies that derive more than five per cent of their turnover from the extraction of thermal coal or oil and gas from tar sands by January 2018. I am very pleased that we have achieved this aim which supports the University’s strong commitment to sustainability and fighting climate change."

Edinburgh has already invested more than £150 million in low carbon technology, climate-related research and businesses that directly benefit the environment since 2010. The decision to divest from fossil fuels within three years, approved by the University’s ruling body, the University Court, follows its commitment – made in 2016 – to become carbon neutral by 2040.

Professor Charlie Jeffery, Senior Vice-Principal, University of Edinburgh, 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.”

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University of Edinburgh
University of Bristol
 

University of Bristol and University of Edinburgh latest to announce fossil fuel divestment
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