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May 08, 2014

Stanford will drop coal stocks from its endowment (Eastcolfax/ FlickrCC).

Stanford University announced Wednesday that it will no longer use any of its $18 billion endowment to support coal mining companies.

Listen to the story from The World

Stanford is the most prominent university yet to bow to student pressures to divest money from fossil fuels. Fossil Free Stanford is one of many student-led activist groups that have ramped up the pressure on big-name schools like Harvard and MIT.

In a press release, Stanford laid out what the policy change will mean:

The resolution means that Stanford will not directly invest in approximately 100 publicly traded companies for which coal extraction is the primary business, and will divest of any current direct holdings in such companies. Stanford also will recommend to its external investment managers, who invest in wide ranges of securities on behalf of the university, that they avoid investments in these public companies as well.

Yari Greaney, a junior at Stanford and member of Fossil Free Stanford spoke to The World yesterday about her involvement with the project.

It was one of the most empowering moments of my life.

The push for universities to divest from fossil fuel has been compared to the movement in the 1960's for colleges to divest in opposition to apartheid.

Last month, more than a hundred faculty members at Harvard called on the university to divest from fossil fuels. In a letter addressed to President Drew Faust, the professors said Harvard ought to better align its investment and intellectual research. 

new business models, divest, stanford

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