Berkeley, CA- Coal is a polluting fossil fuel. Data in a new report authored by California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) alumni Sarah Siedschlag reveals that the University of California (UC) Regents have about $234 million dollars worth of investments in the “Filthy 15” largest coal companies. The report, Reducing California Higher Education’s Support of and Dependency on Coal, also details UC, California State University (CSU), and California Community College (CCC) endowment holdings in the “Filthy 15.” So the report makes the case for stronger clean energy investment policies.
“These findings are a much-needed first step. Our public universities have for years been at the forefront of implementing best practices in sustainability, but this needs to extend to investment practices as well. Together, our schools have enormous power to influence the market. Endowments need to reflect the values and goals of our community, rather than environmental destruction for profit,” said Andrew Chang, CSSC Campaign Director.
Records of endowment holdings through 2011 show that the $234 million the UC holds in the “Filthy 15” includes:
- $25.8 million in Southern Company, the fourth largest carbon polluter internationally
- $12.1 million in Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal company
- $19.1 million in Duke Energy, responsible for 1,248 deaths due to pollution in 2009
These numbers reflect only investment by the UC Treasurer and do not include individual campus foundations.
Student campaigns for sustainable investments are currently active at UC Los Angeles, UC Berkeley, and at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB). “This is an incredible opportunity for schools in California to cement their reputations as the greenest in the nation,” stated Chelsea Lauwereins, a campus organizer at UC Santa Barbara. “Creating transparency in endowment holdings, divesting from coal, and responsibly investing in the clean energy sector are vital steps to building not only 100% clean energy campuses, but our nation’s clean energy economy. UCSB’s student body and many faculty and staff are in support of this initiative and we hope to work collaboratively with administration to achieve these goals.”
Contact: Kitty Bolte, Outreach Coordinator, (831) 227-8757, firstname.lastname@example.org