Northern Ireland

QUB to disinvest from fossil fuels after student campaign

Student Union President Seán Fearon is pictured with Queen's University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston Image copyright Queen's University
Image caption Student Union President Seán Fearon, pictured with Queen's University President Prof Patrick Johnston, welcomed the move

Queen's University Belfast is set to disinvest from fossil fuels after a two-year student campaign.

The university said it would remove investment from extraction and production companies by 2025.

In 2015, students from 'Fossil Free QUB' occupied part of an administration building in protest against the policy.

A number of politicians attended a protest in support of the student group's campaign.

The move is part of a wider commitment to environmental sustainability, said Queen's President, Prof Patrick Johnson.

"We are currently implementing a comprehensive carbon management strategy which will significantly reduce our CO2 emissions by 2020," he said.

"Our new objective to disinvest from indirect investments in fossil fuels, subject to this not materially impacting on expected investment returns, further highlights our commitment to the green and environmental agenda in line with the University's Social Charter."

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Media captionStudent protestors received cross-political support at their sit-in in December 2015

Divestment campaigns have emerged in universities across the world, aiming to fight climate change by removing investment from companies that produce or burn fossil fuels.

Students' Union President Seán Fearon, who was involved in the original protests, welcomed the move.

"Queen's University has made a bold statement about its commitment to combating climate change," he said.

"The Students' Union has led a long campaign to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and bring the divestment agenda to the forefront of student politics.

"With this announcement, the university places itself on the right side of history, and adds to the hundreds of public bodies who have pledged to take a stand against the most significant challenge facing our world today and move towards a fossil free society."

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