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The University System of Maryland Foundation has announced it will no longer make direct investments in fossil fuels, becoming the latest member of a growing group of educational institutions that have vowed to divest themselves of fossil fuels to fight climate change.
Interestingly, the Foundation, which takes care of the university’s US$1 billion endowment, does not actually have any major direct investments in large fossil fuel producers. Still, every gesture counts, and its divestment from the US$70 million it did have in oil, gas, and coal, was praised by environmentalists, most notable among them Bill McKibben, one of the so-called fossil fuel divestment crusaders.
Earlier this month, Stanford University came a step closer to joining the ranks of fossil fuel divestors, as a pressure group called Fossil Free Stanford announced it has collected 1,000 signatures from Stanford students and alumni pledging to withhold any future donations to their alma mater until the university exited oil, gas and coal.
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Stanford is still holding onto its fossil fuel investments, although it did set up a climate taskforce, which will “actively solicit ideas from the Stanford community for ways in which Stanford can further address climate change through campus operations, research and teaching.”
According to McKibben, who is co-founder of environmental group 350.org, since the start of the fossil fuel divestment crusade, more than 500 institutions, with assets of US$ 3.4 trillion, have so far exited fossil fuels.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.