SOAS, University of London, has announced that it will divest from fossil fuels within the next three years, in order to show leadership in the fight against climate change. SOAS is the first university in London to divest and the first to extend an exclusion on fossil fuel companies to its donations policy.
In order to implement the divestment plan, an ethical investment criterion will be added to SOAS’ Ethical Investment Policy and the School’s Gift Acceptance Form and due diligence procedure for philanthropic gifts will be amended.
Professor Paul Webley, Director of SOAS, said:
“SOAS is proud to become the first university in London to divest and we hope more universities will follow suit. Divestment from fossil fuels will enable SOAS to fulfil its responsibilities as an ethical investor, while continuing to ensure that the School’s investments deliver a financial return. This is in line with SOAS’ commitment to environmental sustainability and an important part of the transition towards renewable energy, which SOAS takes very seriously as an institution. As the harmful social and environmental impacts of climate change becoming increasingly clear, these initiatives ensure that SOAS is doing all it can to show leadership on this issue.”
“If you are interested in studying environmental or social justice issues at a university that definitely won’t be investing your fees in wrecking the climate, then SOAS must now be one of the top places to do it. Universities that continue to say no to divestment are eroding their legitimacy to teach about sustainability.”