Glasgow sets standard on climate change

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By A Newsnet Reporter

Glasgow University has become the first in the UK to promise to pull its investments out of industries engaged in using fossil fuel, a major step forward for the green movement.

The decision, subject to ratification that the financial impact on the university is “acceptable”, affects university investments in major oil companies such as Shell, BP and Chevron. It was hailed by Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES).

“Well done Glasgow University for becoming the first University in the UK to take this hugely important step in taking its endowment fund investments out of fossil fuels,” commented Mary Church of FoES.

“Not only is this great news for the planet, but it also makes good financial sense. There are five times as many fossil fuels on the balance sheets of big energy companies as climate science tells us it is safe to burn, so at some point this carbon bubble is going to have to burst.

“We hope the forward thinking action of Glasgow University today will set an example to public and education institutions across the UK to follow suit.”

Glasgow University’s endowment fund is worth £130 million. Today’s vote will see around £18 million of that total re-allocated over the next 10 years.

The university said that the decision had been made after a period of consultation by an independent working group taking evidence from the Glasgow University Climate Action Society and the University Investment Committee.

David Newall, Secretary of the University of Glasgow Court, said: “The University recognises the devastating impact that climate change may have on our planet, and the need for the world to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

“Over the coming years we will steadily reduce our investment in the fossil fuel extraction industry, while also taking steps to reduce our carbon consumption.”