This comes after divestment from direct investments in fossil fuels in 2019JESUSGREEN/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Jesus College announced on Thursday (24/06) “ambitious new climate change plans”, including full divestment from fossil fuels by the end of 2022. This is intended to eliminate indirect investments the College still holds in fossil fuels.

While the College had divested from direct investments in fossil fuels in 2019, a recent report by the Jesus College Climate Justice Campaign (JCCJC) revealed that there still remained £5.15 million invested in the “absolute worst offending global exploiters and polluters”.

The announcement is part of a new College policy of Responsible Investment, which states: “The College acknowledges that, as well as taking account of the investment risk associated in investing in assets that may be affected by the long-term impact of climate change, the risks associated with climate change are systemic and cannot be mitigated in full through diversifying away from them.”

“Therefore, in considering how to manage its endowment, these risks must also be mitigated through effecting change in the economy and society.”

In this policy, Jesus College Master Sonita Alleyne OBE said the College’s endowment “is vital to the future of the College, but so is addressing the existential threat of climate change. I am therefore proud of the stance that the College has taken in addressing this in a comprehensive and ambitious way.”

As well as full divestment, this policy also states the College’s aim “to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its financial investments in line with the University’s target of 2038, or earlier if possible.” Other measures, including an aim to reduce the College’s carbon emissions, are also included in the new policy.

“This policy sets a new standard,” said Dr Ellen Quigley, Advisor to the Chief Financial Officer of the University of Cambridge on Responsible Investment. “Simply put, it’s the best I’ve seen implemented anywhere, at any university or college at Cambridge and beyond.”

The College’s new Sustainability Strategy has also been announced to accompany their Responsible Investment policy. This strategy is intended to promote Jesus “as a leading academic institution where sustainability is intrinsic through engagement, collaboration and innovation. Every member of our community will understand and embrace the principles of sustainability and act as a catalyst for positive, sustainable change for generations.”

Their aim is to make the College site sustainable and to “adopt a sustainability-driven approach” to external College activity. They also want to promote “behavioural changes” within and outside of the College.


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Dr Richard Anthony, Bursar of Jesus College, said: “We want to be recognised globally as a leading academic institution, which is why we have spent our time carefully developing these plans, which are both ambitious and broad in scope.”

“These are stretching targets which set a precedent for Cambridge and which, as a College, we are all very excited about.”

Ellie Doran and Charlotte Milbank, JCSU and MCR Environmental and Ethical Affairs Officers said they were “excited” about the new measures, which they described as “the result of collaborative efforts between College students, fellows and staff representatives over this last year.”

They continued: “We hope that these documents, and the targets they outline, signal the start of many more positive actions taken by the College to mitigate its environmental impact.”