Brown University's misguided vote to not divest from coal

Kylie Lacey's picture
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

On the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, Brown University defied the will of its student body and its own investment advisory committee and voted not to divest from the 15 largest U.S. coal companies.

"I'm deeply disappointed in our administration," said Brown student Ruby Goldberg '17. "The board acted explicitly in opposition to the voices of Brown's community, and of the endowment oversight committee. This could have been a moment for Brown to step up as a leader in the fight against climate change. Instead, the administration chose to continue supporting an industry that profits from wreaking havoc on frontline communities and destroying our chance for a sustainable future."

The decision comes as the fossil fuel divestment campaign continues to pick up momentum around the world. There are now active divestment campaigns underway at over 400 colleges, cities, and religious institutions across the US. The campaign is also spreading to Europe, where Bill McKibben and 350.org are kicking off the Fossil Free Europe tour in Berlin this evening. Recently, the University of Oxford published a study concluding that the fossil fuel divestment movement is growing even faster than past efforts that targeted apartheid and Big Tobacco.

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