More and more universities are choosing to divest from fossil fuels, but the University of Cambridge is going one step further and decarbonizing its entire portfolio. Just last week, Cambridge announced it will drop its $4.5 billion endowments from fossil fuels and reduce its holdings in companies that emit greenhouse gases.
Harvard became the first university to announce a net-zero endowment by 2050 (without divesting from fossil fuels), but Cambridge’s commitments follow a much shorter timeline. The university will divest from conventional energy by the end of the year, build “significant investments” in renewable energy by 2025, divest from remaining fossil fuels by 2035, and become net-zero across its portfolio by 2038.
The decision was pushed by student activists who staged protests after the university decided not to divest from fossil fuels in 2018. This is one of the most progressive divestment plans we have seen thus far and certainly raises the bar as other universities look to divest.