Universities committed to pursuing fossil fuel divestment

So far 89 UK universities and 2 Irish have committed to divest from fossil fuels in some form. These commitments cover endowment wealth of over £15bn.

Full divestment means divestment from all fossil fuel extractor company holdings. Partial divestment means divestment from only some fossil fuel extractor company holdings - usually those involved with the extraction of coal and tar sands.

  • Oct 2014 – The University of Glasgow commits to fully divest £18mil from fossil fuel companies over the next 10 years.

  • Jan 2015 – The University of Bedfordshire puts in policy to not invest in any fossil fuel companies.

  • Mar 2015 - SOAS, University of London commits to fully divest £1mil from fossil fuel companies over the next 3 years and VC calls on other universities to divest.

  • April 2015 - Queen Margaret University commits to fully divest it’s £45mil endowment from all fossil full companies.

  • May 2015 – The University of Oxford campaign gets a partial victory with the announcement that they don’t directly invest in coal and tar-sands as it is unethical.

  • May 2015 – Two victories with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine committing to divesting from coal companies and the University of Edinburgh committing to divesting from coal and tar-sands companies in the next 6 months after a high profile student occupation in response to an initial decision to engage rather than divest.

  • Aug 2015 - The University of Warwick commits to fully divest £1mil from fossil fuel companies over the next year.

  • Oct 2015 – Three Victories with University of the Arts London fully divesting it’s £3.9mil from fossil fuels, the University of Surrey committing to fully divest it’s £42mil endowment from all fossil fuels and Oxford Brookes University committing to fully divest it’s £1.6mil endowment from fossil fuels. Research conducted with NUS also uncovered that six other institutions had divested from coal and tar-sands by investing with divested CCLA (Birmingham City University, Cranfield University, Heriot-Watt University, University of Portsmouth, University of Westminster and De Montfort University).

  • Nov 2015 – Two victories with the University of Sheffield committing to fully divest it’s £40mil endowment from fossil fuels and the London School of Economics committing to divest it’s £97.2mil endowment from coal and tar-sands. Both committed to reinvest in renewables.

  • Jan 2016 – Sheffield Hallam University committed to not invest it’s £0.5mil endowment in fossil fuels.

  • May 2016 - Three more victories with Southampton University and Newcastle University committing to divest from coal and tar-sands, while Queen Mary University London committed to fully divest it’s endowment. Their combined endowment wealth is £100mil.

  • June 2016 - The University of Cambridge commits to 'blocklist' coal and tar-sands from it’s £5.9bil endowment. Falling short of a solid policy commitment to never invest in these sectors again.

  • Sept 2016 - Kings College London commits to divest it's £160mil endowment from coal and tar-sands.

  • Nov 2016 - Research by People & Planet for our University League uncovered that 14 more universities had committed to divest in the last 12 months. Ten of these were commitments to divest: Nottingham Trent, Kent, Lincoln, Wales Trinity Saint David, Abertay Dundee, Worcester, Arts Bournemouth, Cardiff Met, Bournemouth and Manchester Met. Five committed to or divested via their fund manger CCLA from coal and tar sands: Gloucestershire, Aston, Goldsmiths and Greenwich. In the same month the University of the West of Scotland also committed to fully divest it's endowment. Their combined endowment wealth was £46.5mil.

  • February 2017 - The University of St Andrews divest it's £50mil endowment fully from fossil fuels.

  • March 2017 - The University of Bristol commits to divest it's £58mil endowment and Kings College London up it's commitment to divest it's £160mil endowment from all fossil fuels rather than just coal and tar-sands. In Ireland NUI Gallway commits to fully divest £3mil out of fossil fuel companies.

  • May 2017 - Queen's University Belfast announces full divestment of it's £52 million endowment, making it the first university in Northern Ireland to go Fossil Free.

  • August 2017 - 9 universities sign the Fossil Free Declaration and commit to never investing in fossil fuel companies: Canterbury Christ Church University, Newman University, University of Chester, University of the Creative Arts, University of Cumbria, University of Winchester, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Writtle University College and York St John University.

  • October 2017 - Research for People & Planet's University League reveals Glasgow Caledonian University fully excludes and London Metropolitan University partially excludes fossil fuel companies by enshrining these commitments in their investment policies.

  • November 2017 - The University of East Anglia releases a statement confirming they hold no investments from their £8,897,939 endowment in fossil fuel companies, after a four year campaign by students at UEA People & Planet.

  • January 2018 - The University of Huddersfield confirmed to student campaigners at Fossil Free Huddersfield University and the local press that they hold no investments in fossil fuel companies and have no plan to. They become the 60th UK university to divest from fossil fuels.

  • February 2018 - The University of Sussex now invests its money in Liontrust’s ‘Sustainable Futures Managed Fund’ that excludes investments in the Fossil Fuel industry after a four year long student campaign. The University of Edinburgh divests its £322million endowment from all fossil fuels over two and a half years after its partial divestment following a prolonged student campaign.

  • March 2018 - Anglia Ruskin University signed the Fossil Free Declaration confirming they have no investments in the fossil fuel industry and they never will. This came after a student campaign. Durham University divested fully after several years of campaigning by generations of Durham University People & Planet. The University of Bristol fully divested around one year after their partial divestment following sustained student pressure. Cardiff University committed to divest its entire investment portfolio by 2021. This came after Cardiff People & Planet's long-running campaign culminating in an escalation strategy including a hunger strike by two campaign members.

  • April 2018 - The University of Nottingham pledged divested its £50million endowment fund from oil and gas within 12 months, withdrawing from coal and tar sands immediately. 

  • May 2018 - The University of Bath committed to fully divest from fossil fuels. The University of Gloucestershire also committed to fully divest with immediate effect.

  • June 2018 - Buckinghamshire New University became the eleventh university to sign the Fossil Free Declaration. They confirmed they had no investments in fossil fuel companies and said they never will.

  • July 2018 - The University of Leeds confirmed they had divested companies deriving more than 5% of their revenue from coal & tar sands, pledging to make a decision on full divestment by the end of November 2018.  Loughborough University committed to divest from all fossil fuels within three years. Northumbria University declared that they do not, and will not, invest in fossil fuel companies.

  • November 2018 - The University of Liverpool announced their partial divestment of coal and tar sands.

  • January 2019 - Keele University made a commitment to divest from all fossil fuels.

  • February 2019 - The University of Essex made it policy to not invest in companies deriving more than 10% of turnover from fossil fuel extraction. The University of Exeter updated their ethical investment policy to include divestment from coal & tar sands. The University of Ulster updates its ethical investment policy to exclude oil, coal and tar sands companies. 

  • March 2019 - The University of Stirling committed to divest from fossil fuels after a campaign from Stirling Students' Union. Swansea University committed to cease investing in fossil fuels within 12 months.

  • August 2019 - Goldsmiths University, University of Liverpool and Ulster University all updated their divestment commitments to exclude all fossil fuels having previously had only partial commitments.

  • October 2019 - The University of York and University College London announced their commitment to divest from all fossil fuels, following two exemplar campaigns lead by students.

  • November 2019 - Leeds Trinity University joins the list of UK universities to sign the Fossil Free Declaration, and Newcastle University extends its commitment to divestment from all fossil fuels.

  • January 2020 - Aberystwyth University becomes the first university to commit to full divestment in the new decade.

  • February 2020 - The University of Reading extends its commitment and divests from all fossil fuel companies.

  • April 2020 - The 80th university to commit to never have investments in fossil fuels is Southampton Solent University.

  • May 2020 - The University of Roehampton rules out fossil fuel companies in its investment policy, together with arms, tobacco, alcohol and gambling companies. The University of Manchester committed to divest all its investments in fossil fuels by 2022, following a long, hard fought campaign by the People & Planet group on their campus. And finally, Bangor University signs the Fossil Free Declaration, declaring that it does not, and never will, have investments in fossil fuels.

  • October 2020 - The University of Cambridge starts its new academic year with the right foot, by divesting its £3.5bn endowment from all fossil fuels. 

  • November 2020 - The University of Dundee commits to fully divesting its £25m endowment fund from fossil fuels.

  • December 2020 - Aston University makes the right choice and pledges to divest from fossil fuel companies. Bath Spa University signs the Fossil Free Declaration, stating that it does not invest in the fossil fuel industry, and ruling out any future investments.

  • February 2021 - The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine fully divests from fossil fuels, citing both moral and health concerns related to the climate crisis.

  • March 2021 - The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine becomes the sixth (of seventeen) University of London member institutions to exclude all fossil fuel extractor companies from their investments. This commitment to full divestment built upon their 2015 partial divestment from coal companies. In the same week (!) the University of Brighton rejects all fossil fuels by becoming the 17th signatory to the Fossil Free Declaration.

  • April 2021 - The University of Suffolk affirms their fossil free status and commits to never invest in fossil fuel companies in the future by becoming the 18th university to sign the Fossil Free Declaration.

  • June 2021 - in the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow Edinburgh Napier University becomes the 10th university in Scotland to fully divest from fossil fuels.

  • July 2021 - St Mary's University, Twickenham becomes the 89th UK University to reject fossil fuels by signing the Fossil Free Declaration.