The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
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.
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Return of a Relative: Tribal Communities in the Northern Great Plains Rally Around Bison Restoration
By Clay Bolt
On Oct. 11 people around the world celebrated the release of four plains bison onto a snow-covered butte in Badlands National Park, South Dakota.
The climate crisis has put at least 945 designated toxic waste sites at severe risk of disaster from escalating wildfires, floods, rising seas and other climate-related disasters, according to a new study from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), as the AP reported.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
For one year Rob Greenfield grew and foraged all of his own food. No grocery stores, no restaurants, no going to a bar for a drink, not even medicines from the pharmacy.