University of Glasgow is the first university in the U.K. to promise to fully divest from fossil-fuel industry companies, said a spokesman.
The Glasgow, Scotland-based university’s endowment fund, which had £153.9 million ($246.7 million) of assets as of July 31, 2013 — the date of its last audited accounts — is managed by Newton Investment Management and Schroders.
The decision to divest around £18 million of allocations over a 10-year period was made by the University Court, the university’s governing body. The spokesman said the matter has been referred to the university’s investment advisory committee to formulate a plan for divestment. The commitment is subject to reassurance that any financial impact is acceptable.
The decision was made following a period of consultation by an independent working group, with evidence from the investment committee and the Glasgow University Climate Action Society, according to a statement on the university’s website.
The spokesman said the divestment plans are only for the endowment fund, and do not affect non-endowment funds.“The university recognizes the devastating impact that climate change may have on our planet, and the need for the world to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels,” said David Newall, secretary of the University of Glasgow Court, in the statement. “Over the coming years we will steadily reduce our investment in the fossil-fuel extraction industry, while also taking steps to reduce our carbon consumption.”