University of Cambridge could be about to divest from Barclays

The University of Cambridge could be about to divest from Barclays, amid concerns about the banks continued links with fossil fuels.

The Financial Times newspaper reported that it has seen a document which revealed that the University is looking for institutions with more comprehensive climate policies to manage “several hundred million pounds” in cash and money market funds.

The university’s bursar said senior executives were given pretty “robust” challenges over their sustainability policies including “everything from who they lend money to, to how big their bonuses are”.

In September the University of Leeds switched to Lloyds bank, with the university’s chief financial officer citing that she was impressed with the bank’s track record on ESG issues and climate management.

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The Church of England had previously rejected calls to drop fossil fuels, saying it would use its shareholder voice to encourage Shell

The concerns expressed by the University of Cambridge come after numerous organisations including Christian Aid have dropped Barclays over climate concerns.

It comes amid rising concern about fossil fuel companies greenwashing, and the role of banks in issues such as fossil fuel linked pension funds.

The LGBT awards dropped fossil fuel sponsorships with Shell and BP, after top names pulled out over concerns around pinkwashing.

In a high profile move, the British Museum also dropped BP as a sponsor after 27 years earlier this year, whilst the Church of England Pension Fund dropped its investments in both BP and Shell.

In a statement on LinkedIn, Make My Money Matter – which has driven awareness around the links between finance and fossil fuels with campaigns fronted by Richard Curtis and most recently Olivia Colman – described the news about the University of Leeds as  “a great success” and called on other institutions to follow suit.

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