Under student pressure, U of Minn. to phase out fossil fuel investments

2021-09-24 16:34:21 –

The University of Minnesota has decided to withdraw all investments made in fossil fuel companies over the next five to seven years under pressure from students to do more to schools to combat climate change. I am planning.

This week, U announced new details about its intention to move away from investing in fossil fuels this week, a few days after student government leaders on the Twin Cities campus renewed their request for the state’s flagship university to sell from coal, oil and natural gas. I shared it.

“Students and community members have been promoting this for years at this point,” said Senior Madi Miller, Environmental Accountability Committee of the Minnesota Students’ Union, an undergraduate student union in the United States. “This is just a really small step in a grand plan of things.”

Nationally, college students concerned about climate change are urging schools to withdraw from fossil fuels. Earlier this month, Harvard University announced that it would sell its donations from fossil fuels. Two of the Big Ten Conferences in the United States, Rutgers University and the University of Michigan, have also chosen to stop investing in fossil fuel companies.

In Minnesota, St. Olaf College has promised to phase out its investment in fossil fuels, and Macalester College will sell from all dedicated publicly traded oil and gas assets in August. Announced.

More than 4% of the US $ 1.75 billion central fund is invested in fossil fuel companies, according to a university statement.

University leaders say schools don’t invest directly in carbon 200 companies — list It is one of the largest owners of carbon reserves and does not make new private investments in funds that invest heavily in the extraction and processing of fossil fuels.

“It is important to note that most of these investments are legacy commitments in clearing or clearing modes,” U’s statement said. “Some of that capital will be relocated to opportunities outside the energy sector, but some will continue to work on renewable or clean energy resources, including more energy efficient technologies with a wide range of market applications. Will be replaced with. “

U’s student leaders have long sought this change. In 2013, the Minnesota Student Association passed a resolution calling on the university to sell.

Recently, the Big Ten Student Association, which represents more than 500,000 undergraduate students, has called on all Big Ten schools to withdraw from fossil fuels.

The Minnesota Student Association has implemented these previous efforts New divestment letter It was sent to university leaders and the board this week, where the Students’ Union urged them to “stand on the right side of history.”

Abdulaziz Mohamed, U’s undergraduate student council president, said he was not completely satisfied with the university’s choice of taking five to seven years to withdraw from the industry.

“The university’s current plan to wait for sale from the fossil fuel industry is another indicator of the different timelines of change between student leaders and the administration,” Mohammed said.

Miller believes the move “will never be enough right away,” but admitted that the university may not be able to withdraw investment overnight and “has no effect.”

Regent’s James Farnsworth and Mike Kenniania said they believe the university has reached a rational decision. Kenyanya said it was a more immediate timeline than the 10-year end plan Established by Rutgers University..

“I think we should do it as soon as possible, and if it’s five to seven years as soon as possible, that’s it,” he said.

Kenania also praised the tenacious support of student leaders.

“Last week there was a fire on one side of the country and a drought in the middle,” Kenania said. “This is the kind of activism and pressure we need.”

Ryan Faircross • 612-673-4234

Twitter: @ryanfaircloth

Under student pressure, U of Minn. to phase out fossil fuel investments Source link Under student pressure, U of Minn. to phase out fossil fuel investments

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