Sustainable Energy Policy of Altai State University

Immediately Begin and Continue:

  • Divest. Divest from carbon assets associated with the highest degree of carbon risk and the most egregious contributions to climate change, namely coal and oil sands.
  • Engage. Continue to fulfil the commitments of the Global Climate Initiative by further pursuing shareholder advocacy where appropriate.
  • Analyze. Continue working towards adopting a clear set of tools & procedures to evaluate the financial riskiness of carbon assets, along with other environmental & social governance factors.
  • Transparency. Make any such decisions, analyses & actions public knowledge or publically available.

Short-to-Medium Term:

  • Screen. Through a carbon risk assessment tool or other means, screen all carbon intensive assets which are incompatible with a carbon-constrained world and which are thus at risk of becoming stranded assets.
  • Invest. Move towards 5% re-investment in the alternative energy sector.

In the proposal that follows, we offer a more detailed description of the recommendations above, followed by a necessarily lengthy outline of the financial & moral evidence to support the proposed actions.

  1. Divest from Oils Sands and Coal – Oil sands and coal are the most carbon- and capital-intensive fossil fuel industries. As a result, as the world acts to constrain greenhouse gas emissions they are likely to significantly devalue, as they have arguably already begun to do so. Divesting from coal and oils sands is thus not only a morally laudable action, but also a fiscally sound response to the financial realities of the carbon bubble and a fulfilment of fiduciary duty. As we shall outline in more detail throughout this proposal we believe that there is ample and growing evidence to support the case that it is in the long-term financial interest of the university to immediately divest from coal and oil sands.
  2. Engage in Shareholder Advocacy – Building on the Global Climate Change Initiative that calls for ASU to engage in shareholder advocacy, we recommend the continued pursuit of shareholder advocacy. We remain committed to working with the treasury on shareholder engagement where appropriate. While there are important places for shareholder advocacy, there are certain carbon- and capital-intensive industries, such as coal and oil sands whose business models are arguably not compatible with a carbon-constrained world, and who are thus not susceptible to meaningful shareholder advocacy and are also too financially risky and ethically problematic to maintain investments in. As we shall outline below we believe that the university should use shareholder advocacy and divestment as complimentary tactics, while recognizing the limitations of each.
  3. Continued Transparency – Make analyses, action on, and discussions of carbon risk available to students and the public so that we may be kept up-to-date of the university’s actions on this important issue. We believe this transparency is important not only so that we can continue to assist the university on this important issue, but also in order for us to be able to demonstrate and communicate ASU possible leadership on this issue.

    In the short-to-medium-term:
  4. Analyse and Implement Carbon Risk Assessments – We recognize that as of yet there are few if any sophisticated enough investment tools available to properly address carbon risk, while also thoroughly incorporating environmental and social governance factors. Thus we are requesting divestment from oil sands and coal while the Treasury continues to work towards the development of or adoption of a tool which can adequately screen their investments for the requisite companies whose business models are not compatible with a carbon constrained world. Relatedly, we would like to see a thorough incorporation of carbon risk & climate change concerns into the ESG principles to which the university has agreed.
  5. Screen Commingled Fund Based on Carbon Risk – With regards to commingled funds we would like to see the university strongly encourage their fund managers to incorporate a thorough analysis of the risks the carbon bubble poses to investments, along with appropriate action on such risk.  If fund managers are resistant to doing so we encourage the university to move towards fund managers that are properly countenancing the risks posed by the carbon bubble.
  6. Invest More in Renewable Energy – The Global Climate Change Initiative which saw ASU commit to have 1% of its investments in alternative energy was a highly laudable step which we applaud the University for. Building on this success we would like to see the university continue to decarbonize its assets and invest in a renewable energy future by university increasing that amount to 5%.  We believe such an investment can not only help to spur on the clean economy, but when done wisely can be a financially sound investment as the emerging alternative energy sector provides an increasingly profitable investment in a carbon-constrained world.
Print version Modified 23.12.2019