Okay, so no more excuses about how kooky it is to think divestment from fossil fuels could really happen on a large scale.
Today, the climate movement won a groundbreaking victory. In a striking acknowledgement of the need for a bold and immediate response to climate change, Stanford University is divesting from the coal industry.
The Stanford endowment, valued at $18.7 billion, will now become the largest in a growing group of funds to partially divest from fossil fuels.
Thanks to continued pressure from students who formed Fossil Free Stanford in November 2012, going door to door petitioning, making their case in classes, dining halls, and residences getting 78% of student participants in a recent undergraduate referendum to vote in support of divesting from fossil fuels, Stanford's Board of Trustees followed their bold lead. They said as much in their statement.
Stanford’s statement announcing the move credits students with providing the impetus for divestment, stating that “Fossil Free Stanford catalyzed an important discussion” and thanking students for their “thoughtful work” on the issue. Stanford’s decision is a clear testament to the power of the student movement for divestment and the broader movement to combat climate change.
There's still much work to be done in the effort to shift a system based on investments in resources whose true costs to people and planet have been externalized for too long, but this is a major step towards recognizing that the fossil fuel divestment movement is for real.
Stanford to divest from coal companies - Stanford News
Acting on a recommendation of Stanford's Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing, the Board of Trustees announced that Stanford will not make direct investments in coal mining companies. The move reflects the availability of alternate energy sources with lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal.And really, from an investment perspective, this is a really smart decision, because...
Stanford University will not make direct investments of endowment funds in publicly traded companies whose principal business is the mining of coal for use in energy generation, the Stanford Board of Trustees decided today.