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.