University says divestment from fossil fuels is ‘viable’
University tells Fossil Free Aberdeen that divestment is viable as long as transition is ‘managed over a period of time.’
By: Jeevan Bains
After months of consultation between The University of Aberdeen, AUSA and the Fossil Free Campaign, and after years of student activism, the University’s Senior Management Team (SMT) is preparing to present its case for the divestment from fossil fuels to the University’s Court.
The Court ‘oversees the management of resources of the University.’
AUSA’s Vice President for Communities, Radeen Moncrieffe, said on Twitter that he was ‘immensely proud to have worked with [Fossil Free Campaign] this year’ while highlighting his hopes that ‘Court in June is overwhelmingly supportive of the proposal’.
In a statement, Fossil Free Aberdeen talked about how they had put together a ‘detailed proposal for divestment based around positive ethical, financial and social impacts, along with our student and staff petitions for divestment.’
In the statement, the group also said that Principal George Boyne and Vice-Principal Karl Leydecker reported that ‘divestment was viable as long as this transition was managed over a period of time.’
The group explained that discussions with the Senior Vice-Principal and the University’s Finance Director David Beattie had been ‘very productive’ and that the University ‘had already made positive steps in this area, with only around 1% of the portfolio currently invested in fossil fuel stocks.’
Principal George Boyne shared the University’s commitment to sustainability through the Aberdeen 2040 initiative, which aims for zero carbon emission before 2040 at the Student Council Q&A session earlier this year.
Other aims of the University’s Aberdeen 2040 initiative include the aim to ‘excel in research that addresses the climate emergency, enables energy transition and the preservation of biodiversity, alongside encouraging ‘everyone within our community to work and live sustainably, recognising the importance of our time, energy and resilience.’