It’s Thursday, March 11, and Rutgers delivered another win for student divestment activists.
Following a Tuesday vote by its Board of Governors and Board of Trustees, Rutgers University announced it will begin the process of divesting its assets from fossil fuels. Around five percent of the university’s $1.6 billion endowment — about $80 million — is currently invested in companies whose main business is fossil fuel exploration, extraction, or infrastructure.
The New Jersey public university will end all new fossil fuel investments immediately and divest from passive index funds that include fossil fuel investments within one year. The university will sell off all its private fossil fuel investments within a decade and “actively seek new investment opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” according to a university press release.
Students and community activists from a coalition called the Endowment Justice Collective have been pushing for university divestment from fossil fuel assets for years. “This is seven and a half years in the making,” David Hughes, former president and current treasurer of the Rutgers faculty union, said in a press release. “It will give greater strength to the divestment movement at exactly the moment when the new Biden administration is beginning to take up climate change.”
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