New York University plans to divest from fossil fuels

New York University, one of the largest private universities in the United States, with an endowment of over US$5 billion, plans to divest from fossil fuels, following years of pressure from student activists, writes Dharna Noor for The Guardian. The move represents a significant win for the climate movement, organisers said.

The university first formalised the commitment in an August letter from William R Berkley, chair of New York University’s board of trustees, which was seen by the Guardian, addressed to a student activist group. “New York University commits to avoid any direct investments in any company whose primary business is the exploration or extraction of fossil fuels, including all forms of coal, oil and natural gas, and not to renew or seek out any dedicated private funds whose primary aim is to invest in the exploration or extraction of fossil fuels,” he wrote.

New York University has taken other steps to address the climate crisis, Berkley wrote, including slashing greenhouse gas emissions from building energy, setting goals to reduce food-related emissions and pledging to achieve net zero by 2040. The university currently has “no direct ownership of public securities” of any fossil fuel company, he wrote. In 2014, the school had US$139 million, or 4% of its endowment, invested in coal, oil and gas, university disclosures said at the time.
Full report on The Guardian site