Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Stanford Student Movement Inspires University's $18.7 Billion Divestment From Coal

If there's any investment that could potentially cause “substantial social injury," it's coal-fired energy.

A large-scale student campaign helped Stanford University's board of trustees realize as much, leading to this week's decision for the institution to divest its $18.7 billion endowment from coal stock. 

Stanford University's 43-year-old Statement on Investment Responsibility instructs the board of trustees to invest endowment assets to maximize potential returns, but it also allows trustees to factor in the possibility of those investments causing social injury.

"Moving away from coal in the investment context is a small but constructive step while work continues at Stanford and elsewhere to develop broadly viable sustainable energy solutions for the future," John Hennessy, university president, said in a statement.

Fossil Free Stanford, a student-led organization, petitioned the university a year ago to divest from 200 fossil-fuel extraction companies. Stanford's Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing (APIRL), a panel of students, faculty, staff and alumni, reviewed the petition and ultimately made the recommendation to divest.

Democracy Now! spoke with student Michael Peñuelas, a faculty liaison for the group, about the campaign and the change he and his classmates inspired.

"Fossil Free Stanford catalyzed an important discussion, and the university has pursued a careful, research-based evaluation of the issues," said Steven A. Denning, chairman of the Stanford Board of Trustees. "We believe this action provides leadership on a critical matter facing our world and is an appropriate application of the university's investment responsibility policy."

Stanford's decision comes after several, similar campaigns and protests at universities around the country. Seven Washington University students were arrested last week for protesting Peabody Coal. One Harvard University student was arrested at a day of action event to encourage the college to divest from fossil fuels.

Video screenshot credit: Democracy Now!

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

Stanford Professor on Letterman: Powering Entire World on Renewable Energy No Problem

Stanford University Scientists Produce Electricity From Sewage

Stanford Professor’s 50-State Plan For 100-Percent Renewable Energy

——– 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

polaristest / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Spinach is a true nutritional powerhouse, as it's rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Jeff Turrentine

From day to day, our public health infrastructure — the people and systems we've put in place to keep populations, as opposed to individuals, healthy — largely goes unnoticed. That's because when it's working well, its success takes the form of utter normalcy.

Read More Show Less
Spring Break vs. COVID19: The Real Impact of Ignoring Social Distancing

By Eoin Higgins

A viral video showing cell phone data collected by location accuracy company X-Mode from spring break partiers potentially spreading the coronavirus around the U.S. has brought up questions of digital privacy even as it shows convincingly the importance of staying home to defeat the disease.

Read More Show Less
Aerial shot top view Garbage trucks unload garbage to a recycle in the vicinity of the city of Bangkok, Thailand. bugto / Moment / Getty Images

German researchers have identified a strain of bacterium that not only breaks down toxic plastic, but also uses it as food to fuel the process, according to The Guardian.

Read More Show Less