Sweden’s Lund University has announced that it intends to divest parts of its fossil fuel investments, at the same time as an MIT committee has recommended similar divestment.
Announced on the Fossil Free website, Lund University, one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious universities, declared that it would divest parts of its investment in coal, oil, and gas. Specifically, within 5 years the university intends to divest its direct holdings from coal, oil, and gas companies, which applies to approximately 10% of the investments the university is responsible for.
Therefore, the university is dedicated to divesting approximately 160 million SEK “direct donations” from fossil fuels.
The new ethical guidelines say that funds “may not invest in companies where business within coal, oil and gas extraction is more than 10% of their profit or revenue” (translation by Fossil Free).
Only a few days later, an MIT presidential committee submitted its report which supported divestment from coal and tar sands, and potentially other fossil fuels, amidst calls from over 3,400 MIT members to divest the institutions $12.4 billion endowment from fossil fuel investment.
Specifically, the report outlined a variety of steps by which MIT could and should address climate change, including “support by a (three‑quarter) majority of the committee for targeted divestment from companies whose operations are heavily focused on the exploration for and/or extraction of the fossil fuels that are least compatible with mitigating climate change, for example, coal and tar sands.”
“As this report makes clear, climate change is not only an unprecedented threat to the livelihoods of MIT’s students, but also an immense opportunity for the Institute to make climate action its defining legacy of the twenty-first century,” said student divestment campaigner Ioana Knopf. “We urge the administration to heed the committee’s recommendations, and begin divesting from fossil fuels as part of a multi-faceted climate action plan.”
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