Stanford University announced Tuesday that it would divest its $18.7 billion endowment of stock in coal-mining companies, becoming the first major university to lend support to a nationwide campaign to purge endowments and pension funds of fossil fuel investments.
The university said it acted in accordance with internal guidelines that allow its trustees to consider whether “corporate policies or practices create substantial social injury” when choosing investments. Coal’s status as a major source of carbon pollution linked to climate change persuaded the trustees to remove companies “whose principal business is coal” from their investment portfolio, the university said. ...As a global institution, Stanford “knows the havoc that climate change creates around our planet,” Bill McKibben, the president and co-founder of the environmental group 350.org, said in a statement. “Other forward-looking and internationally minded institutions will follow, I’m sure.”
As a most prestigious institution of higher education with the ability to rapidly differentiate climate-change induced apocolypse from simple bad weather, Stanford knows. Stanford just knows.