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Op-Ed or News Articles | Mother Nature is Not Calling for Divestment

Alicia Seiger
Stanford Law School Legal Aggregate
2019

In honor of Earth Day, Harvard University students, faculty and alumni held rallies to pressure the university’s $39.2 billion endowment to divest from fossil-fuel related companies. Having scored what sounded like a victory five years ago, when Stanford University announced a coal divestment decision, Fossil Free Stanford is doubling down to demand the school’s $26 billion endowment sell oil and gas stocks. The divestment rallying cry has been echoing across the halls of elite universities, through US state legislatures (which govern state pension funds), and as far north as Norway, home to the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, for more than half a decade. While some calls appear to have been answered, the response won’t move the climate needle far enough or fast enough and meanwhile, pensions and endowments remain woefully underprepared to weather climate change.