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Green Economy

Published on June 22nd, 2015 | by Joshua S Hill


MIT Committee Calls For Divestment As Lund University Makes Partial Divestment

June 22nd, 2015 by  

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.

10391449_909414165748344_2945352389483893177_nAnnounced 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).

MITOnly 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.”

Image Credit: via Lund University and MIT respectively.

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I’m a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we’re pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket!

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  • GeorgeMokray

    MIT has had a much more open and thorough process than Harvard. This discussion has been going on, formally, for at least two years.

  • This is really interesting for MIT’s David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice


    “With roots going back to 1916, the “Practice School” — as the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice is commonly known — is a key element of the Ph.D.CEP and M.S.CEP degree programs. In Practice School, small groups of students spend two months at each of two host company sites. Under the supervision of a resident MIT “station director,” teams work on intensive projects of real strategic value to the host companies.”

    Why would Koch spend around $150 million on a practice school at MIT, besides being an alum? Probably because of desalination is membrane technology. Koch’s big in water treatment. Desalination plants are going to become more widespread and most delivered under a public-private partnership. This means heads they win, tails you lose. Suckers.



    So the ultimate clean technology company may be Koch Industries. Looking for another sponsor, Zack?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Michael, do you find it profitable to piss on people that are on the same side as you are?

      • I didn’t mean it that way. Just a warning for Zack when a rep from Koch Industries comes knocking. It’s a bizarre tapestry we’ve weaved.

        • GeorgeMokray

          There’s also the Koch Institute on cancer at MIT. One climate change conference had the Koch Cafeteria as a recommended lunch place.

    • JamesWimberley

      All the more credit to MIT proposing divestment. Institutions don’t readily pick fights with major donors.

  • RichardJOdell


  • JamesWimberley

    After the Deepwater oil spill, Greenpeace ran a competition for an alternative BP logo: I particularly liked this entry, which is apposite to today’s divestment tide.


    • mike_dyke

      I like that logo, but I also see a follow-up to it.

      The diamonds keep leaving the “flower” until just the yellow ones are left in a ring. The diamonds that have left turn Black and form solar panels at the bottom right of the screen.
      i.e. the centre “sun” is powering the solar panels made from the other diamonds
      (Sorry if you can’t imagine it well, I’m not an artist and English is not helpful)

      • JamesWimberley

        Very neat, but much too kind to BP, which has sold all its renewable assets.

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