The University of Oxford has opted to exclude companies involved in the extraction of coal and tar-sands from its direct investment on ethical grounds.
The Oxford University Court has also passed policy that disallows future investment in the fossil fuel industry.
University of Oxford lecturer of philosophy Felix Pinkert said: “By excluding investments in coal and tar-sands extraction, the University of Oxford demonstrates that universities can carry out their academic mission while also acting with moral integrity in their investment choices.”
Global climate change organisation 350.org has labelled the university’s decision as “great leadership on the crisis of our time”.
People & Planet fossil free campaign manager Andrew Taylor said: “Many world leaders have studied under Oxford University’s spires. They should be taking notes today.”
According to Mr Taylor, “the lesson is: it’s time to phase out coal and axe tar sands.”
The UK university joins the Australian National University which divested its resources stocks in October last year.
While Oxford has significant support, ANU’s divestment was met with opposition from both media and government.
Although the University of Oxford has agreed to offload the stocks, it has refused to disclose its investments publicly.
Oxford’s decision followed a year-long student-, academic- and alumni-backed campaign to ditch fossil fuel stocks.