After reviewing input from a campus-wide panel, on Tuesday (May 6) Stanford’s board of trustees voted to divest from coal-mining companies. In a statement on the university Web site, president John Hennessy said the move “is a small but constructive step while work continues at Stanford and elsewhere to develop broadly viable sustainable energy solutions for the future.” The student-run activist group Fossil Free Stanford also said that the decision “is a major victory for the climate movement and for our generation.”
What’s the Big Idea?
A growing movement urging universities to divest from all fossil fuel-producing companies hasn’t had much success to date. However, an institution such as Stanford, which has an endowment in the billions, could set an example for others, says 350.org divestment campaign manager Jay Carmona. Another addition to the pressure could come in the form of a White House report, also released Tuesday, that warns of the impacts of climate change on the US.