Leeds & West Yorkshire

University of Leeds withdraws £3.6m fossil fuel investments

University of Leeds Image copyright Google
Image caption The University of Leeds has withdrawn investment from fossil fuel extractors

The University of Leeds has withdrawn its £3.6m investments in fossil fuel firms including Shell and BP.

Vice-chancellor Sir Alan Langlands said climate change was "the most demanding global challenge we all face".

The university said it now had "seven principles" to tackle the issue and wanted to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030.

Leeds University Union said the principles were "a step in the right direction".

The university said its seven principles include only investing in firms that work with the Paris Climate Accord.

Sir Alan said: "We are committed to leading by example in the fight against climate change.

"The principles commit the university to a 2030 net-zero carbon footprint target and a drive to achieve no direct carbon emissions by 2050.

"As a result of this strategy, the university has withdrawn investment from significant fossil fuel extractors Total, BP and Shell."

Lauren Huxley, from the Leeds University Union which represents students, said: "We're really pleased to see the university acting on such an important topic, which is clearly at the forefront of many students' minds.

"Policy was recently passed at [Leeds University Union] asking us to lobby the university to declare a climate emergency and we see the climate crisis principles as a much more extensive step in the right direction.

"It's clear that, alongside University staff, students' passion for the future of our planet has been recognised, listened to and helped drive the direction of these principles."

University staff and students will be allowed 30 minutes plus their lunch break to join a climate change protest in Leeds on Friday.

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