The University of Liverpool has agreed to sell its stakes in fossil fuel companies after complaints from its students’ union.
The Liverpool Guild of Students led a year-long campaign for the university to fully divest from a “dirty industry”.
Last year, the University of Liverpool’s ethical investment policy pledged to exclude companies that derive 10% of revenue from thermal coal and tar sands. The new pledge broadens this to include all fossil fuels.
The university, which had already pledged to divest around £6.7m of its investment portfolio, will now divest a further £2.8m by July 2022.
Hannah Nguyen, deputy president of the Guild of Students, said: “Full divestment is a huge win for the Fossil Free movement, and it’s all down to student activists at Liverpool who have campaigned tirelessly.
“Thank you to everyone who signed our petition, came door-knocking in halls and helped to organise the Fossil Free campaign.
“I would also like to thank the NUS, People and Planet network and Fossil Free Merseyside for all their support in our campaign. The work that these organisations do as part of the wider climate justice movement is incredibly important.”
Nicola Davies, University of Liverpool’s director of finance, said: “The case to reduce our investments in companies that derive significant revenues from fossil fuel extraction and production has increased with greater awareness of the impact of climate change.
“I am grateful to the Guild of Students for the work they have undertaken in helping to bring us to this decision. I would also like to thank our investments sub-committee for their input and advice. We will continue to review our investments policy on an annual basis to ensure it supports our values and ethics.”
The university is planning to reduce its carbon footprint and use a combined heat and power plant which saves around 7,000 tonnes of carbon compared with using electricity from the national grid.
The university’s ethical investment policy also commits to investing funds in socially responsible causes, including environmental causes.
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