In a major victory for campaigners, the University of Edinburgh is set to end all investments related to fossil fuels. The move will make the University of Edinburgh the biggest institution in terms of endowment, not to have investments in either oil, gas or coal holdings. This announcement was made yesterday, and has been greeted by many – who point to the detrimental effect fossil fuel companies are having on the world. The University has been under heavy pressure from a long-running student campaign. Read on for more.
Investments into fossil fuel companies have proved contentious for some time. This is due to a number of reasons, but mainly because of the effect that burning fossil fuel reserves has on the climate. Both financial and ethical problems have arisen from fossil fuel investments. Such is the nature of the argument, that a slew of big organisations and several other Universities have also divested in recent times. A number of campaigns are happening at other Universities to try and continue this trend.
Edinburgh has only been investing in a limited amount of fossil fuel companies since 2015. Before then, there was no limit to their investments. The 2015 change however enacted a scaling back of operations due to concerns over the pollution levels of some companies. While in 2015 the University didn’t go the extra mile and completely divest, on this occasion they have. The University will sell off holdings in three fossil fuel companies – Total, Atlas Copco and the BG Group.
This case is a huge victory for campaigners. The University of Edinburgh has the third largest endowment fund in the United Kingdom – and the biggest in Scotland. It only trails to Oxford and Cambridge, both of which are yet to completely divest. This decision therefore comes as a large boost for campaigners, who believe this will help limit the effects of climate change. In the past, the University of Edinburgh has also announced its aim to become carbon neutral by 2040.
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So some good news for campaigners, good news for the environment, and good news for the University. What isn’t to like?! Click the link below to see more Edinburgh-themed news, or click one of the links above – five stories you might be interested in!