University of Manchester to decarbonise its investment portfolio

The University of Manchester has announced that it will end investments in fossil fuel reserve and extraction companies by 2022, and ‘decarbonise’ all investments by 2038.

The changes to the University’s Socially Responsible Investment Policy also include a commitment to reduce the carbon intensity of the overall investment portfolio by 30% by 2022, and then to move as quickly as possible to net-zero by, at the latest, 2038.

The changes to the Policy have been agreed after a wide consultation with staff, students and alumni earlier in the year which attracted nearly 600 responses. The policy was developed in consultation with the University’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Students’ Union.

In 2019 the University supported the UK Government’s declaration of the climate emergency and signed up to be part of Greater Manchester’s plastic free pledge and the city of Manchester’s zero-carbon target, which was also developed by the Manchester Tyndall Centre.

Vice-President for Social Responsibility, Professor Nalin Thakkar said: ‘We will stop investing in companies that hold fossil fuel reserves or are involved in extraction by 2022.

‘However, these account for only 3-5% of our total investments. Since most CO2 emissions do not arise from the direct activity of fossil fuel companies, but through the use of fossil fuels by others, we will also take the more ambitious step to shift our investments to carbon efficient companies. We believe this is a more radical, comprehensive and justified approach than disinvestment based on fossil fuel extraction alone.’

In April, Oxford University announced it will ban its investment arm from spending money with the fossil fuel industry.

The university said the approach is based on its own academic research on climate-conscious business practices, the Oxford Martin Principles for Climate-Conscious Investment.

Photo Credit – The University of Manchester

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Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

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