Cambridge endowment fund commits to fossil fuel divestment by 2030

On the 10/01/20 at 4:07PM


Adrien Paredes-Vanheule

The University of Cambridge has set a target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2038.

The Cambridge University Endowment Fund (CUEF), running £3.5bn in assets, on Thursday pledged to divest from all direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels by 2030 as the University targets carbon neutrality by 2038, more than ten years ahead of the deadline set by the British government. These goals are part of the endowment fund's a four-step plan that will also encompass the withdrawal of investments with conventional energy-focused public equity managers by December 2020 and the rise of the fund's renewable energy investments by 2025.

In addition, all research funding and donations to the University will be monitored closely “to ensure that the donor can demonstrate compatibility with the University’s objectives on cutting greenhouse gas emissions before any funding is accepted.” The investment office of the CUEF will collaborate with the University’s climate change initiative Cambridge Zero and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Together they will provide external fund managers with access to research and advice on sustainable finance, including its partners who collectively manage more than $250bn in assets. 

On the estate side, Cambridge university seeks to replace gas by alternative heat technologies and to increasingly source its power from renewable energy sources.  

Professor Stephen Toope, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, said: “The University is responding comprehensively to a pressing environmental and moral need for action with an historic announcement that demonstrates our determination to seek solutions to the climate crisis. We will approach with renewed confidence our collaborations with government, industry and research partners around the world as together we work for a zero-carbon future.”

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