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Cambridge University Clashes With Own Academics Over Climate Change

Attracta Mooney, Financial Times

University executive refuses to implement governing body’s carbon divestment motion

The University of Cambridge has become embroiled in an internal battle after executives at the UK’s richest educational institution clashed with academics over proposals to divest from fossil fuels.

Last month the university’s governing body, which is made up of senior academic and administrative staff from its 31 colleges, passed a motion to divest Cambridge’s £5.8bn endowment from fossil fuels.

The decision came amid investor concern that fossil fuel companies will suffer large losses as governments around the world seek to tackle global warming.

But in an unprecedented break from university tradition, Cambridge’s council, its executive arm that sets policy, has said it will not follow through with the governing body’s calls for divestment within the next 12 months.

The council is reluctant to cut investments in fossil fuel companies without assessing how this would affect funding for its teaching and research programmes.

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