The University is writing to three of the world’s biggest fossil fuel producers to inform them that it intends to fully divest from their activities within the next six months.
The decision has been taken by the University’s Investment Committee, which has met for the first time since the University agreed changes to its fossil fuel investment policy on 12 May.
Professor Charlie Jeffery, the University’s Senior Vice-Principal, said the action is an important next step in the process that began when the policy changes were agreed by the University’s ruling body, the University Court.
The University is targeting companies involved in coal or tar sands production as these are high carbon-emitting industries that operate where alternative sources of energy exist.
As part of its promised engagement process prior to divestment, the University will give the three companies the opportunity to respond in the next four weeks. It intends to divest within six months.
Going forward, the guidelines will be used to determine decisions on any future investments.
The Investment Committee today re-iterated the University's commitment to prioritising low or zero-carbon investments by identifying and replacing investments with lower carbon alternatives where available.
It will also press companies across its investment portfolio to reduce their carbon emissions.
Through its research and teaching activity the University will continue to explore alternative sources of renewable energy and to develop low carbon technologies.
It will continue its commitment to carbon capture and storage research, focusing on new ways of securing energy from fossil fuels without the harmful emissions to the atmosphere that cause climate change.
This decision underlines the recent commitment made by the University to address the challenge of climate change though its responsible investment policy. We will act quickly to reduce harmful emissions through divestment, reinforcing the work we do to act on climate change through research and teaching.