Stanford to Drop Stock in Coal

Dan Staggs

In what is being hailed as a major victory for the student-led campus divestment movement, Stanford University has announced that they will be dropping their $18.7 billion stock in all coal-mining companies. Stanford is the largest and most prestigious university thus far to respond to student demands to remove fossil-fuel stocks from their investment portfolios. The New York Times reports:  The university said it acted in accordance with internal guidelines that allow its trustees to consider whether “corporate policies or practices create substantial social injury” when choosing investments. Coal’s status as a major source of carbon pollution linked to climate changepersuaded the trustees to remove companies “whose principal business is coal” from their investment portfolio, the university said.  Stanford’s associate vice president for communications, Lisa Lapin, said the decision covers about 100 companies worldwide that derive the majority of their revenue from coal extraction. Not all of those companies are in the university’s investment portfolio, whose structure is private, she said. Over all, the university’s coal holdings are a small fraction of its endowment. “But a small percentage is still a substantial amount of money,” she added. 

Dan Staggs is an intern at In These Times.
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