City life | By Simon Watts

City announces divestment from fossil fuel producers


Decision is in line with City’s commitment to sustainable and ethical investments.


The heatwaves and wildfires across Europe this summer have once again highlighted the dangers of the climate crisis, and its ability to dramatically impact our daily lives.


City, like many universities, has been actively working to reduce its environmental impact and play a part in responding to the global climate challenge. The University has committed to reaching net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2040. All of our electricity comes from renewable energy sources and since 2005/06 we have reduced our carbon emissions by 53 per cent.


Now the University has announced that its third-party fund manager will divest from, and no longer directly invest in, fossil fuel producers. The decision has been taken working closely and in partnership with City’s Students’ Union, and together they will explore future investment options which focus on developing green technologies.


City’s President, Professor Sir Anthony Finkelstein, said:


“I am pleased that the University, our Students’ Union and our Council were able to reach this decision together. It is an important step in our work to ensure that the University, and our students, are involved in ensuring a more sustainable future for us all.”


“Our decision to divest from fossil fuel producers is just one of the actions that we are taking to step-up our engagement with the challenges of sustainability. We recognise that this will involve complex trade-offs and we will use the best evidence and science to support our decision making. Our new strategy reaffirms our commitment to delivering our net-zero target by 2040. The resources required to make this a reality are considerable and will entail us making some hard choices, we are facing up to this.”


“Although we have much to do, I feel confident that we are taking positive action to address one of the most significant issues of our time.”

President of City’s Students’ Union, Gesmina Tsourrai, said:


“As a university committed to upholding scientific integrity and social justice, I am proud that City has taken the important decision to divest from this destructive industry. Now our governments must intervene to halt their disastrous business practices.”


City published its third annual Global Goals Report in April. The report presents case studies about how City is responding to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and highlights five key themes: research, education, engagement, campus and governance.


Read City’s Sustainable Investment Statement.