Credit: Glasgow University Climate Action

Student pressure forces the University’s hand on fossil fuel divestment

By Luke Chafer

Student pressure forces the University’s hand on fossil fuel divestment.

The Glasgow Guardian learned that the University of Glasgow has refused to reinvest in fossil fuels despite financial concerns that have been raised after the University’s divestment.

Following an FOI (Freedom of Information) request, The Glasgow Guardian obtained the paper that was presented to the finance committee of the University Court in June which found that University management had rejected the advice of the Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) to stop divesting from fossil fuels due to student pressure.

The report states: “The alternative approach has been discussed with student representatives (drawn from groups involved with climate change) and with representatives of management. The students were sceptical of the potential for shareholders to influence companies and were also concerned about the impact of what they believed would be seen as a change in direction and a reduction in commitment to fighting climate change.”

The report went on to say that “the management looked carefully at the alternative but, in light of the opposition of others and the risk of it being misinterpreted as rowing back from our commitment on Climate Change, recommend we retain the current approach”.

The IAC had advised that the University should reinvest. They advocate for more engagement with fossil fuel companies to better force change within them, but also for the reasons that many companies are altering their processes in line with the Paris COP commitments. 

Last month The Glasgow Guardian reported that the University of Glasgow opted to reaffirm its commitment to divest from fossil fuels after a year-long period of consultation amidst financial concerns.


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