Princeton to ‘decouple’ fossil fuel investments

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Princeton University’s board of trustees voted to divest itself of 90 companies under an administrative process established last year that focuses on companies involved in the thermal coal and oil sands segments of the fossil fuel industry, or who are engaged in climate disinformation campaigns.

Thermal coal, which is burned to produce steam and used to generate electricity, has become a priority because it emits far more carbon dioxide than other available fossil fuels, the university said. He also said tar sands oil, which is derived from loose sands or sandstone, also produces much higher emissions than conventional crude oil, including in its extraction and production process. However, Princeton said thermal coal and oilsands companies can be exempt from unbundling if they can prove they can meet a rigorous greenhouse gas emissions standard.

And in an effort to help the university achieve its goal of eventually having a net zero greenhouse gas endowment portfolio, the Princeton University Investment Company, which manages the $38 billion endowment of the university, will also eliminate all stakes in publicly traded fossil fuel companies. . PRINCO said it will also ensure that the endowment does not benefit from any future exposure to fossil fuel companies.

The university said the 90 companies targeted are all active in the thermal coal or oil sands segments of the fossil fuel industry, adding that they are among the sector’s biggest contributors to carbon emissions. The list includes giants such as Exxon Mobil, Dominion Energy, Glencore and TotalEnergies. The quantitative criteria used to determine the dissociation list were based on recommendations made by a panel of faculty experts in a report published in May.

The university said the board’s vote was the result of a two-year process that included input from stakeholders in the Princeton University community. He also said he would create a new fund to support energy research at the university, in part to offset research funding that is no longer available due to the decoupling.

“The creation of this new fund is one of the many ways the university is helping provide Princeton researchers with the resources they need to continue this work,” said Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber. , in a press release.

Related stories:

Harvard adopts goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

Cambridge University to divest from fossil fuels by 2030

Boston University joins Harvard to divest from fossil fuels

Tags: decoupling, Endowment, Fossil Fuels, Princeton University, Princeton University Investment Company, PRINCO

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