Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

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

——– 

In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less
Monarch butterflies in Mexico's Oyamel forest in Michoacan, Mexico after migrating from Canada. Luis Acosta / AFP / Getty Images

By D. André Green II

One of nature's epic events is underway: Monarch butterflies' fall migration. Departing from all across the United States and Canada, the butterflies travel up to 2,500 miles to cluster at the same locations in Mexico or along the Pacific Coast where their great-grandparents spent the previous winter.

Read More Show Less
The 30th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony on Sept. 17 introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners, each intended to make people "laugh then think." Improbable Research / YouTube

The annual Ig Nobel prizes were awarded Thursday by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research for scientific experiments that seem somewhat absurd, but are also thought-provoking. This was the 30th year the awards have been presented, but the first time they were not presented at Harvard University. Instead, they were delivered in a 75-minute pre-recorded ceremony.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch