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NERMEEN SHAIKH: One of the country’s most prestigious universities, with one of the world’s largest endowments, has joined the student-led movement to divest from fossil fuels. Stanford University’s Board of Trustees announced Tuesday it would no longer invest in coal-mining companies because of climate change concerns. The board said it acted in accordance with guidelines that let them consider whether, quote, "corporate policies or practices create substantial social injury" when choosing investments. Stanford’s endowment is valued at $18.7 billion. The university’s president, John Hennessy, said in a statement, quote, "Moving away from coal in the investment context is a small but constructive step while work continues at Stanford and elsewhere to develop broadly viable sustainable energy solutions for the future."
AMY GOODMAN: All of this comes as the fossil fuel divestment movement heats up across the country. Seven students at Washington University in St. Louis were arrested last week following a 17-day sit-in. The students were calling on the school’s Board of Trustees to cut ties with coal industry giant Peabody Energy. Also last week, students at Harvard blockaded the office of Harvard President Drew Faust. One student was arrested.
For more, we go to Stanford University in California, where we’re joined by Michael Peñuelas. He is a junior majoring in Earth systems. He has been a faculty liaison and one of the lead student organizers with Fossil Free Stanford.
Welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about this victory, Michael, that you have had. Talk about the significance of what Stanford has done.
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