Twelve colleges have committed to partial divestment, and five to full divestmentfaoch/flickr

Corpus Christi has announced that it is to fully divest from all direct and indirect investments in the fossil fuel industry through its investment in the Cambridge University Endowment Fund by 2025.

The decision comes as the College Governing Body has approved a new ‘Statement on Investment’, which will also see the College commit to allocating “significant capital to funds investing in renewable energy assets which have a return profile appropriate for the endowment.”

The College has also announced a longer-term goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its investment portfolio by 2038.

This marks the fifth College out of 31 - joining Christ’s, Clare Hall,Pembroke and Trinity - to have committed to complete divestment from the fossil fuel industry . A further 12— Newnham, Robinson, St John’s, Fitzwilliam, Selwyn, Emmanuel, Downing, Peterhouse, Queens’, Lucy Cavendish, Jesus, and Trinity Hall—have publicly pledged to partially divest.

This follows the College’s decision to divest from all investments “with conventional energy- focused public equity managers” in December 2020.

Jenny Raine, the College’s Bursar, said in a statement: “We take our responsibility to reduce carbon emissions very seriously and this change to our investment policy recognises that. Although holdings in fossil fuel companies have never been a significant part of our portfolio, we are committed to the complete elimination of such investments”.

The statement added that the College has also achieved a platinum award in the Green Impact award scheme, run by the University of Cambridge Environment and Energy Department, for the previous four years, and that “We continue to strive for further sustainability improvements across all aspects of College life.”

Extinction Rebellion Cambridge, in a Facebook post published today (23/03) entitled “Another one bites the dust”, stated that “it’s fantastic to see more progress on the divestment front,” while also emphasising that “the University and colleges have plenty of other fossil fuel links.”


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The decision will also bring the College in line with the University’s commitments to divest by 2030, as announced in October last year, in a decision deemed “hugely encouraging” by Clare Alum Sir David Attenborough. The £3.5 billion Cambridge University Endowment Fund will be divested and refocused on investing in renewable energy, and the University will aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2038.

This follows the launch of the ‘Cambridge Colleges Divest Now’ campaign at the end of last month, which intends to apply pressure on Colleges who have not yet committed to full divestment.

Corpus Christ’s MCR Committee was among the signatories of the open letter launched alongside this campaign, which stressed that “there simply are no longer any excuses for Colleges not to commit to full divestment from fossil fuels” for the Colleges “which should be at the forefront of responsible, evidence-based climate policy.”

A spokesperson for Cambridge Zero Carbon Society told Varsity: “the recent divestment decisions of Christ’s, Lucy Cavendish, Pembroke, Trinity, Trinity Hall and now Corpus Christi shows Cambridge’s commitment has established a strong precedent.”

They continued: “These commitments show it is now unacceptable for educational institutions to profit from the destruction of our planet. No more can Cambridge University and its Colleges profit from investing in the companies who have decimated frontline communities, bankrolled misleading climate science, lobbied against environmental regulations, while continuing to explore for oil even as the planet burns.”