[DurhamDivest] Fw: Message from David Cowling re: Divestment

Charlotte Lee charlie3_3 at hotmail.co.uk
Thu Oct 27 18:30:56 UTC 2016

Thought this might be of interest...

From: staff-mgmt-supp-bounces at durham.ac.uk [staff-mgmt-supp-bounces at durham.ac.uk] on behalf of DIALOGUE A.C. [dialogue at durham.ac.uk]
Sent: 26 October 2016 10:12
Subject: [staff-mgmt-supp] Message from David Cowling re: Divestment

Dear Colleagues,

The Commission on Divestment from Fossil Fuels First Statement

The Commission today makes its first statement regarding representations made by Durham Students' Union to the University Executive Committee (UEC) regarding the University's investments in the fossil fuel industry. UEC recognises and welcomes the engagement of the Students' Union with this important issue. On the 19th July 2016, a Commission was announced which will form an opinion and make a recommendation to UEC regarding the question of investment in the fossil fuel industry and the financial consequences of divestment for the University and its ability to fulfil its charitable and strategic objectives.

Following consultation with Durham Students' Union on the scope of its resolution, in particular the definition of what is meant by "the fossil fuel industry", the Commission will be considering the matter of divestment from companies "that participate in the extraction of fossil fuel reserves".

The issue at hand is broad, complex and multifaceted involving many different University departments and activities. Engagement on this issue therefore needs to consider the interests of relevant stakeholders across the whole of the University. To inform the Commission's work, we would now like to canvas the opinions of University staff, students and alumni by requesting evidence and opinions from relevant bodies in the University and inviting, through the publication of this statement, interested parties to submit evidence or views on the questions set out below.

We are also interested in evidence and views on ways in which the University, as a catalyst for change, can engage in the debate about climate change.

Group responses (e.g. departmental/research groups etc.) are welcome as are individual responses. The Commission will review the robustly analysed submissions at its next meeting and will publish a summary of views on its website. Submissions will inform the report and recommendation to UEC, which will also be published.

Durham University currently has no direct investment holdings in fossil fuel companies. Its investments are held in funds administered by investment management companies.

Q1. Do you believe that Durham University should divest from companies involved in fossil fuel extraction? Please provide reasons for your response.

Q2. Do you believe Durham University should invest in companies involved in fossil fuel extraction if they are also involved in renewable and green technologies? Please provide reasons for your response.

Interested parties can submit their views by an anonymous web form at https://www.dur.ac.uk/divestment/ or by emailing durham.divestment at durham.ac.uk<mailto:durham.divestment at durham.ac.uk>

Consultation on the divestment of Fossil Fuels - Durham ...<https://www.dur.ac.uk/divestment/>
Durham University's governing Council has agreed that a Commission is to be established by the University Executive Committee (UEC) to review the issue of ...

The consultation will close on the 31st December 2016.

Best wishes,

Professor David Cowling

UEC Lead on Divestment and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Arts and Humanities)

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