MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti) - The Glasgow University has announced that it will withdraw investments worth 18 million pounds ($29 million) from companies that produce fossil fuels, following a campaign by over 1,300 students, making it the first university in Europe to do so, the university said in a statement published on its website.
"The university recognizes the devastating impact that climate change may have on our planet, and the need for the world to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels," David Newall, secretary of the university's governing body, said in a statement Wednesday.
"Over the coming years we will steadily reduce our investment in the fossil fuel extraction industry, while also taking steps to reduce our carbon consumption," Newall also said in the statement.
According to the press release, the divestment involves the reallocation of the funds over the next 10 years.
Outside Europe, 13 other American universities have already pledged to withdraw more than $50 billion in assets from fossil fuel companies thanks to the many students lobbying to governing bodies. In the United Kingdom, there are about 50 active campaigns and 15,000 students have signed petitions since People and Planet, UK's largest student network for climate change, launched the Fossil Free UK campaign in June 2013. People and Planet is leading the campaign to divest universities and colleges from fossil fuels in British educational institutions.
British universities directly support the fossil fuel industry through their investments, usually used for research by Shell, BP and ExxonMobil, with Exxon spending up to $1.4 billion on research and development in 2013, according to The Statistics Portal.