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University of Cambridge aims for net-zero status by 2038

Cambridge's plan also includes withdrawing from conventional energy-focused public equity managers by December and building investments in renewable energy by 2025. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Cambridge's plan also includes withdrawing from conventional energy-focused public equity managers by December and building investments in renewable energy by 2025. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Britain's University of Cambridge announced Friday it will divest all investments in fossil fuels by the end of the decade as part of a goal to attain net-zero status by 2038.

The university simultaneously said it will increase investments in renewable energy.

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"The university is responding comprehensively to a pressing environmental and moral need for action with a historic announcement that demonstrates our determination to seek solutions to the climate crisis," Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope said in a statement.

"We will approach with renewed confidence our collaborations with government, industry and research partners around the world as together we work for a zero-carbon future."

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Cambridge's plan includes withdrawing from conventional energy-focused public equity managers by December, building investments in renewable energy by 2025 and divesting from fossil fuels by 2030.

"Climate change, ecological destruction, and biodiversity loss present an urgent existential threat, with severe risks humankind and all other life on Earth," Cambridge Chief Investment Officer Tilly Franklin said. "The Investment Office has responded to those threats by pursuing a strategy that aims to support and encourage the global transition to a carbon-neutral economy."

"[This] is a landmark decision for which students, staff and the Students' Union have been campaigning for years," added Ben Margolis, undergraduate president of the Cambridge Students' Union. "The fossil fuel industry's practices are not compatible with the university's position as a world-leading site of scientific research, or its stated mission to contribute to society."

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Cambridge's move follows similar pledges by a number of major companies, including Amazon, BP, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Apple, Ford Motor Co., and Verizon.

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