Students outraged over 'absolutely scandalous' university fossil fuel investmentsThe Paradise Papers revealed the extent of Cambridge University's investment in polluting industriesShareUpdatedGet SubscribeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailCampaigners have reacted with fury over the revelations of Cambridge University's investment in fossil fuel companies. 7 million in a Guernsey-based private equity firm that had funds investing in companies including Royal Dutch Shell.
Students outraged over 'absolutely scandalous' university fossil fuel
Cambridge University said its charitable status means it normally does not pay tax and that it had only "negligible" holdings in fossil fuel industries. But members of Cambridge Zero Carbon Society slammed the Paradise Papers findings saying they revealed the "truth" about the university's investment arrangements.
Cambridge University (Image: Nick Ansell/PA Wire.
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That the university has been investing tens of millions of pounds in offshore funds to dodge tax is bad enough. That in doing so it has been investing huge quantities in Shell’s deep-sea oil exploits is outrageous.
"Time and again Zero Carbon have been told that the university has minimal investments in fossil fuel companies. ”Cambridge colleges that invested in fossil fuels include Clare, Downing, Gonville & Caius, Jesus, Murray Edwards, Newnham, Pembroke, St Catharine’s, St John’s and Trinity Hall. Read MoreA spokesperson said on behalf of the colleges and university: "The colleges and the university are charities and therefore their holdings in investments are tax-exempt in the UK, US and many other countries.
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The fund is managed by a highly reputable investment advisor and, as is normal, the adviser makes the decisions about specific investments to be made by the fund. "He explained that a fossil fuel divestment working group was set up by the university council in May 2016 to consider the issue.
The group was engaging with a range of organisations and individuals, as well as holding town hall meetings.
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Eleanor Salter, 21, a third year politics and sociology student, said:"It was not a surprise, but at least it gives us a little more clarity about the sheer quantity of money invested in fossil fuels. It just proves that the working group is delaying divestment.
"Climate change is here, it's real, it's more than just numbers. They are helping to further the destruction of the planet. Divestment is something that must occur immediately.
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He added: "The resulting report made clear that the university had no directly held exposure to the most pollutive industries, such as thermal coal and tar sands, and no expectation of having any such exposure in the future.
"In relation to investments managed externally, there were only negligible holdings in these more polluting fossil fuel industries This guide will help you get started running a fossil fuel divestment campaign on While it's true that fossil fuel companies are extremely profitable (the top five Start a petition on our website asking your college president to work with the The campus newspaper is a great place to get the debate over divestment going..