University of Edinburgh one step closer to becoming carbon neutral

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The University of Edinburgh has completed its divestment from fossil fuels, which marks a significant milestone in its journey to become carbon neutral by 2040.

This sees the University remove direct and pooled investments in companies involved in the extraction and production of fossil fuels such as coal, tar sands, oil and gas. 

Removing investments from such companies is a significant way organisations can show their support for a transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.

This action is one of many activities the University is undertaking to tackle the climate crisis and the latest step in the University’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2040.The prestigious university’s research and teaching will continue to engage with the fossil fuel industry to aid the transition to a low carbon economy.

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The news comes in advance of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow in November.

Listening to the voices of students was a big part of the University’s approach to divestment.

The fossil fuel review group which provided the recommendations to the investment committee included student representatives. 

The University has now invested more than £170 million in low carbon technology,  climate-related research and businesses that directly benefit the environment since 2010.

Edinburgh University will continue to find ways to reduce carbon emissions associated with investments and make a positive contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh, Dave Gorman, said: “The climate crisis continues to be one of the most pressing issues facing humanity.

“By divesting from fossil fuels and choosing to reinvest in more socially and environmentally beneficial causes, the University is proactively supporting society’s transition to clean energy, a smarter use of resources and a more inclusive economy.”