The Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) today announced the first ever Index for how Universities globally are recognising and managing their climate change risks.

“The Universities have become a focal point for action by stakeholders to drive better management of climate risk – we now need to see who is actually taking the action required to hedge against these very real risks,” AODP Executive Director Julian Poulter said.

“It will be pretty clear who will be the dux and dunce’s around the world’s Universities are when it comes to managing their institutional climate investment risk.

“Students, alumni and other stakeholders need confidence that their university is best practice in implementing measures to reduce their exposures to potential high carbon stranded assets.

“The AODP Global Universities Index (GUI) will for the first time provide the transparency required and enable more focussed and informed pressure to be channelled to where it is most needed,” Mr Poulter said.

The AODP Global Universities Index will survey and research over 300 Universities in 32 countries around the world with 40 in Australasia. It will send out information requests directly to the Universities but in a world first will allow students and alumni to use its Vital Few platform (www.areyouthevitalfew.org) to seek information directly for use in the ratings analysis.

“Students, Alumni and others can now actually become a part of the financial system providing ratings data and disclosure to other members via the AODP Index – it’s a really exciting new financial democracy unfolding here.

Dan Apfel, Executive Director of the Responsible Endowments Coalition, said, “This new index will help to put information in the hands of students and alumni already insisting their colleges divest from fossil fuels and invest in solutions to climate change, strengthening and helping push colleges closer toward taking action on climate risk.”

Surveys will be distributed to the 300 universities this week, with the final rating report expected later this year.

“We have no doubt that this information will prove that many Universities are recklessly gambling their stakeholders money on the unlikely bet that climate change goes away and that the Universities investments remain intact,” Mr Poulter said.

“Universities are a key player in the transition that is urgently required across the financial and investment system to meet the growing risks posed by climate change,” Mr Poulter said.

The 2014 Global Climate Investment Index can be accessed here: www.AODProject.Net