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Invitation to engage on fossil fuels investment

The UCT Council established the University Panel for Responsible Investment (UPRI) committee in 2017 as a formal university committee that sets policy and advises the university on responsible investment matters related to UCT’s endowment fund. UPRI has developed a policy that aims to direct the university’s approach to responsible investment in terms of the investment of the endowment fund. This policy, approved by the University Council in December 2020, is designed to be consistent with the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI).

UPRI has the responsibility of engaging various UCT stakeholders on matters relating to responsible investment, the results of which will inform its specific recommendations on responsible investment matters.

UPRI has decided that its first engagement with the university community on substantive matters relating to responsible investment will address directly the carbon intensity of its investment portfolios, how this may be mitigated, the Just Energy Transition, and UCT’s stance on fossil fuel investments in general.

UPRI is fully committed to openness and transparency, and to providing information that will better allow the university to engage with its work. To this end, UPRI is engaged in discussions with the trustees of the UCT endowment and the Joint Investment Committee regarding the information UPRI will be allowed to place in the public domain, which will be done via the UPRI web pages.

So that the university community can better appreciate the scale and scope of the issue at hand, as of mid-2020, fossil fuels exposure accounted for approximately 2.5% of the endowment’s total assets, and approximately 5% of its domestic equity exposure. Investments in renewable energy account for approximately 1.8% of the endowment’s total assets.

UPRI invites all interested parties to email submissions on matters relating to the above by close of business on 14 May 2021. Emails can be addressed to UPRI, using the email address: upri-group@uct.ac.za.