University of Liverpool to divest from fossil fuels


The University of Liverpool has joined a growing number of institutions to sell all its holdings in fossil fuel companies as part of a new ethical investment policy.

The university had already committed to partial divestment of coal and tar sands - two of the most damaging fossil fuels - but will now sell all of its remaining £2.8 million holdings in other fossil fuel companies by July 2022.

Under its new Ethical Investment Policy, the university will no longer invest in companies with “significant revenues” from fossil fuel extraction. Once the process is complete, up to £9 million will have been moved away from fossil fuel related investments.

Growing momentum

Fossil fuel divestment is fast becoming a major issue in the financial sector, with organisations under growing pressure to ensure they are not supporting growth in fossil fuel use.

Research shows that, far from being ‘risky’, fossil free investment portfolios can outperform traditional investments. Furthermore, fossil fuels investments risk becoming ‘stranded assets’ in future as the global economy transitions to cleaner energy sources.

The number of UK universities committed to fossil free investment is now at 76, with Manchester Metropolitan and the University of Cumbria among the other North West institutions participating to date.

‘Greater awareness’

In a statement, the University of Liverpool said its decision was motivated by a student-led campaign run by the Liverpool Guild of Students.

Nicola Davies, director of finance at the University of Liverpool, added: “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 for the work they have undertaken in helping to bring us to this decision.”



Posted under Public / Government / Charity on 21 August 2019