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University announces divestment from fossil fuels following UoA Court's vote

After a University Court ruling, UoA has committed to divesting its financial investments in fossil fuels.


By Jeevan Bains


Image courtesy of Jeevan Bains.


The vote comes after eight years of efforts from various student and city environmental activist groups, including the Fossil Free initiative, to encourage University fossil fuel divestment.

Fossil fuel divestment takes place when financial investments into companies, who extract fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil, are sold. This can include both direct and indirect investments as well as investments in pooled and tracker funds. The divestment will see the University part with the "limited exposure (2.38%) through the pooled funds we currently invest in, which equates to £1.4M". Alisa Koester, AUSA’s Student President shared "we know this is just a first step in a right direction. Our work is not done, yet, and our commitment to this cause continues" before thanking the University’s Senior Management team for their contribution as well as the Fossil Free campaign for making ‘this divestment happen’.

"We know this is just a first step in a right direction. Our work is not done, yet, and our commitment to this cause continues."

Third-year Politics and International Relations student Olivia McKay highlighted that this campaign will show Aberdeen as a positive example of energy transition in a changing world, ‘for an institution in the oil capital of Europe to take a stand like this demonstrates the necessary commitment and steps needed to combat the global climate crisis.’ The divestment is part of the Universities’ Aberdeen 2040 initiative which aspires to ‘show leadership in working for the sustainable future of our planet’ by fulfilling twenty commitments over the next twenty years to become increasingly ‘inclusive, interdisciplinary, international and sustainable.’ The University website explains the institution's stance being ’committed to using our unique position and influence to encourage and support the transition to the low carbon economy. The University shared that they will ‘continue to work with the energy sector [through divestment], as part of a just transition to a greener, more sustainable future. We continue to value our industrial partnerships, and the benefits they bring to our students and research activities.’