Data in a new report authored by California Student Sustainability Coalition alumni Sarah Siedschlag and published by the University of California reveals that the University of California Regents have something on the order of $234 million dollars worth of holdings in 15 of the largest coal companies. Titled “Reducing California Higher Education’s Support of and Dependence on Coal”, the report follows the trail of millions of dollars from public education coffers to big oil endowment funds and makes the case for stronger clean energy investment policies.
California Student Sustainability Coalition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
For More Information: Kitty Bolte, Outreach Coordinator: (831) 227-8757 firstname.lastname@example.org
University of California Holds $234 Million in Filthy 15 Coal Corporations
CSU, CCC Holdings Opaque, Students See Opportunity for Responsible Investment Alternatives
According to data released today, the University of California Regents hold $234 million in 15 of the largest coal mining and coal burning corporations including Massey Energy, Patriot Coal, and Ameren Corp., with millions more possibly in individual campus foundations.“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, Campaign Director for the California Student Sustainability Coalition.Records of endowment holdings through 2011 show that the $234 million the UC holds in the “Filthy 15” coal companies includes:
- $25.8 million in Southern Company, the 4th 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 assets held centrally by the UC Treasurer and do not include individual campus foundations.
This data is from a new report, “Reducing California Higher Education’s Support of and Dependence on Coal,” authored by Sarah Siedschlag, a CSSC Alumni and recent graduate of the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara. The report details investment structures in UC, CSU, and CCC systems, endowment holdings in the “Filthy 15” coal corporations, and identifies paths forward. Student campaigns for sustainable investments are currently active at UC Los Angeles, UC Berkeley, and at UC Santa Barbara.
“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.”
The California Student Sustainability Coalition is a network of over 30 UC, CSU, CCC, and private colleges and universities in California, united to transform our institutions of higher education into models of sustainability.