Board of Regents approves fossil fuel divestment

May 21, 2015  |   |  7 Comments
Print Friendly
group shot

Regents, divestment task group and Divest UH supporters celebrate UH fossil fuel divestment.

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents has voted to divest the university’s $66-million endowment from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas companies.

In January 2015, the Board of Regents approved the appointment of a task group comprised of UH regents, students, faculty and staff to investigate divesting UH’s endowment from fossil fuels.

“The board approached its discussion on divestment with the spirit of collaboration,” said UH Board of Regents Chair Randy Moore. “The divestment task group was comprised of faculty, students, administrators and board members. The result was a superb collaborative effort and the final outcome represented the best of shared governance.”

The task group worked closely with the board’s investment manager UBS Financial Service, Inc. to evaluate potential divestment options as well as impacts to the investment goals and policies. UBS says it has seen an increasing number of institutional investors seeking fossil fuel-free funs, and anticipates that eventually such funds will be offered at competitive fees.

The task group recognized that the act of divestment would not directly result in the reduction of carbon emissions. However, the task group concluded that the value of divestment is to galvanize the UH community to take action in invest in the production of alternative energy, to make energy-saving investments and to change institutional as well as individual behaviors.

According to gofossilfree.org, worldwide, more than 200 colleges and universities, cities and counties, religious institutions and foundations have pledged to move fossil fuel investments elsewhere. UH is one of the biggest universities to divest.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Governance

 

7 Comments

Comments (7)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Douglas Wong says:

    So you don’t want chevron’s sponsorship of sport teams and event also.

    Can’t have it both ways!!!!

  2. Jim Bowman says:

    With very few modifications the entire power plant of electricity used at UH could be generated with hydrogen converted from saltwater. The byproduct of burning hydrogen as you know is water.

  3. Robert Peel says:

    This is a major positive contributive step for the University of Hawai’i towards weaning the world from an energy source that is having an immeasurable negative impact to the Earth’s ecosystems. As a former policy developer towards mining activities for the Alberta Government (Alberta, Canada fossil fuel rich area) i witnessed the influence of the oil lobby on the government’s policies (all levels of government). That influence overrode all other considerations whether it be social or environmental, despite the rhetoric on sustainability.

    The global society has been propelled to a dependency on the oil industry. The divestment approval is a move towards a development paradigm that takes equal consideration to the People, Planet, and Profit! Mahalo nui to the Board of Regents for such a bold move!

    This is also a message to all individuals to think of ways for each one of us to contribute towards reducing our fossil fuel depency. One EASY example is not exceeding the posted road speed limits…do people realize as their speed increases more gas is consumed as well as increased levels of greenhouse gasses? In essence, they are paying their own speed tickets in addition to consuming more gasoline.

  4. Eleanor Hall says:

    Congratulations to the U. of Hawaii for divesting! I hope some of the money gained from divesting will be put into clean energy and energy efficiency securities. As Archbishop Tutu said, “Move your money out of the problem and into solutions.

Leave a Reply