Edinburgh University agrees to axe fossil fuel investments within three years

CAMPAIGNERS demanding University of Edinburgh stop investing in fossil fuels claimed victory tonight after the institution agreed.

The university Court said it would end involvement with the controversial arrangements within three years.

It brings to an end years of protests, sit ins and pressure from eco groups, staff and students.

In a statement issued tonight, the university insisted fossil fuel investments made up less than a percent of its £1billion portfolio.

However, it said a decision had been taken to change their strategy, which comes as it offers more and more environmentally focussed courses and research.

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.”

For campaigners, it was an historic decision, involving a cross section of people represented on the university’s fossil fuels review group.

Ollie 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.”

The university says it has already invested more than £150 million in low carbon technology, climate-related research and businesses that directly benefit the environment since 2010.

It also committed two years ago to become carbon neutral by 2040.

Once complete, it will now become the largest university endowment in the UK to be free of fossil fuel investment.

However, the university said it would also continue to engage with fossil fuel companies in its research and teaching.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Read: Edinburgh University – Fossil Fuels 

IMAGE CREDITS: cc Geralt 

Shaun Milne is a Scottish based journalist with a particular interest in environmental issues, politics and travel.

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