LONDON (Reuters) – Cambridge University stated it might maintain investing in funds that maintain shares in fossil gasoline corporations, regardless of public strain from lots of of its teachers.
One of essentially the most eminent tutorial establishments within the world, Cambridge University has an endowment fund (CUEF) of just below three billion kilos, the overwhelming majority of which is invested not directly by funds.
“Disengagement from any funds that have even small fossil fuel components, or that would require CUEF to step back from investments in alternative energy initiatives by global companies currently regarded as fossil fuel companies, would result in significant limitations on the CUEF’s ability to invest as successfully as in the past,” Cambridge stated.
Any weakening within the efficiency of the fund would imply much less assist to tutorial actions, it stated late on Thursday, including it had no direct funding in fossil gasoline corporations and wished to keep away from any direct funding in coal and tar sands, whereas protecting any oblique funding in these areas to a minimal.
Last yr, Cambridge’s principal governing physique Regent House, together with some 5,000 employees, voted in favour of full divestment from fossil fuels.
In April, about 350 Cambridge teachers signed a letter to the college and its faculties, that are largely impartial from the college’s central administration and have their very own investments, urging them to excise fossil gasoline investments.
Signatories included chemist David King, who was Britain’s Special Representative for Climate Change till final yr after a seven-year stint because the government’s Chief Scientific Advisor.
Shortly afterwards, BP (BP.L) Chief Executive Bob Dudley urged Cambridge University to not yield to strain to chop its investments in fossil fuels and pointed to BP’s donations to the college.
Cambridge Zero Carbon Society, a divestment marketing campaign group, has known as for the resignations of members of the University finance workplace, together with Finance Director David Hughes, who previously labored for BG, now a part of Shell (RDSa.L).
“Our managers often talk about ‘risk management’ and the importance of avoiding ‘reputational damage’. It is hard to imagine a more risky, reputation-damaging moment in the history of the university,” Mary Laven, a historical past professor, stated in a press release by way of the Zero Carbon Society.
The world’s high oil and gasoline corporations are going through rising strain from traders to shift to cleaner power and renewables with a purpose to meet worldwide targets to sharply scale back carbon emissions by the tip of the century.
(This story has been refiled so as to add dropped phrase in identify of Cambridge Zero Carbon Society at first reference)
Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Edmund Blair