They include academics at Oxford, Imperial College London and Harvard.This will exponentially increase the concerns and crys about scientists having conflicted positions and a financial stake in the outcome of their science.
Prof Myles Allen, of Oxford University, said the move was similar to principles governing investment in South Africa under apartheid in the 1980s.
"This is a challenging question being put to universities," he told BBC News.
"We have the opportunity here to think about the most constructive approach to the divestment issue."
Amazingly, the BBC reporter didn't even broach this idea.
Large positions in carbon-free investment vehicles has already led to the marginalization of Al Gore. Now it will spread.
And frankly, I can't really blame anyone for thinking that about a scientist drawing up "investment principles." By participating in such discussions, they are invariably going to have (or appear to have) the inside track on who might adopt those principles -- mutual funds, retirement accounts, banks, etc. That gives them the opportunity to quietly shift their personal investments in response to that knowledge, and whether they do or not, whether they say they do or do not, it will raise suspicisions, and thus suspicions about their science.
Nor do climate scientists have the expertise to draw up investment "principles." That's for bankers, economists, investment houses, individual investors. What do they need to know besides "we need to eliminate CO2 emissions?" They're in a much better position to make decisions about how to most efficiently make that transition. I'm sure they have smart people who can do the energy and CO2 calculations.
This throws gasoline on a roaring fire, and in the US at least it will be used by opponents of action on climate change. And frankly I can't blame them one bit, insofar as it involves any scientists work on these divestment plans. (And it will give rise to suspicisons about all other climate scientists too, regardless of their nonparticipation in such efforts.)
I just don't get this at all.