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Consultation on the divestment of Fossil Fuels

Terms of Reference

1. The Commission on Divestment from Fossil Fuels (the Commission) has been established by UEC to evaluate the proposal from Durham Students’ Union that the University withdraw its investments in companies involved in fossil fuel extraction.

2. The objective of the review are:

To review divestment options from companies involved in fossil fuel extraction and the impact that divestment would have on the finances of the University and its ability to fulfil its charitable and strategic objectives.

3. The review shall be co-ordinated, under the overall UEC leadership of the PVC Arts and Humanities, by the Chair of the Commission (Dr Amanda Ellison) with support from Governance and Executive Support, Durham University.

4. The Commission will comprise of faculty representatives, a representative of the University Research Institutes, student body representatives, Durham University’s Chief Financial Officer, and the University’s Director of Governance and Executive Support. The Commission will draw upon external specialist expertise as necessary.

5. The Commission will consult with the University community to ensure that those who wish to are able to contribute their views. This will be enabled, inter alia, by an anonymised web form, a dedicated email address and an initial Town Hall gathering.

6. The Commission will meet at agreed dates and times and will be invited to comment on the evidence base relating to:
a) Input received from relevant University committees including the Ethics Advisory Committee, the Finance and General Purposes Committee, the Research Committee and the Education Committee.
b) Summary of consultation across the University community.
c) Consequences of possible proposed divestment.

7. The Commission shall consider the options that are available to modify and monitor the University’s investment strategy and produce a report with recommendations to UEC in the first instance.