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London School Of Economics Divests From £97.2 Million Coal & Tar Sands Investments

The prestigious London School of Economics announced this week that it would divest from its £97.2 million in investments in coal and tar sands companies.

12314137_10154095886398488_8968245261207966042_nThe London School of Economics (LSE) Council approved a series of recommendations that it believed would “strengthen the School’s socially responsible investment policy.” Specifically, according to the School’s Socially Responsible Investment Policy (PDF), “The School will seek to progressively reduce its investment in funds which indirectly place its endowment in companies significantly engaged in the extraction of thermal coal and tar sands.”

“I welcome the decision taken today as an indication that the school is listening and responding to the concerns of students, staff and faculty,” said Gabriel Davalos, an LSE alumni. “To remain invested in coal and tar sands right now is absolute folly. However, I think LSE needs to look hard at its investments in oil and gas companies. We need to keep at least 80% of all fossil fuels in the ground of we want to avoid runaway climate change. We can start with tar sands and coal but we need a concrete timeline to divest from oil and gas.”

New research published earlier this month by magazine Corporate Knights concluded that the $147 million LSE endowment had lost $3 million due to not having divested 3 years ago.

Nevertheless, LSE is definitely committed to revising and updating its investment policies, as are many other universities across the UK.

“With eighteen UK universities now divesting, we need ways that these institutions can invest in the new low-carbon infrastructure which society desperately needs,” said Andrew Taylor, Campaigns Manager at People & Planet. “Some local authority pension schemes are already investing directly in community controlled renewable energy, but we need to see ways that smaller institutions like universities can get involved.”

Image Credit: via LSE Divest, Facebook

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