The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has ended all its investments in fossil fuels, two years ahead of the deadline set in the new Climate Policy it adopted in January 2020.
The policy stated that the RCP would:
- Immediately disinvest from major US oil and gas companies that hadn’t acted on climate change.
- By the end of 2020, using insight from the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) or an equivalent tool, disinvest from any oil, gas or mining company that hadn’t set emissions targets.
- By 2023, after engagement with those oil, gas and mining companies in which it still retained a holding and a final assessment using TPI, disinvest from any company that wasn’t demonstrably on a path in line with the goals of the Paris agreement.
To create a fossil fuel free portfolio, the RCP released its fund managers from restrictions in the earlier investment policies and allowed them to source green investment vehicles worldwide. By including investments tilted more towards growth than income, it is hoped to boost the RCP’s financial recovery from the pandemic.
The ending of all direct and indirect investment in fossil fuel companies is the culmination of a divestment process begun more than 5 years ago and underlines the RCP’s commitment to playing its part in tackling climate change, which will have a significant impact on public health in the UK and around the world.
It has been essential to ensure that the RCP’s investments are consistent with its public advocacy, calling for everything possible to be done to limit global temperature rises in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Professor Chuka Nwokolo, RCP treasurer, said: “I am very grateful to our fund managers for their hard work over the last year. In difficult circumstances they have given us something to be proud of in ending all our investments in fossil fuel companies two years early. Despite whatever reduction in emissions there has been during the pandemic the urgent need to tackle climate change and improve air quality remains.”