Georgetown University is the latest institution to commit to divesting from fossil fuels. Its Board of Directors on Thursday approved a policy saying the university would divest from public securities of fossil fuel companies within the next five years and from existing private investments over 10 years. Georgetown will continue to make investments in renewable energy and immediately freeze new endowment investments in companies or funds whose primary business relates to fossil fuel exploration or extraction.
“Divestment allows us to divert more capital to fund development of renewable energy projects that will play a vital role in the transition away from fossil fuels -- part of the long-term solution required to prevent the most dangerous effects of climate change,” Michael Barry, Georgetown’s chief investment officer, said in an announcement. “Our endowment has for a number of years profitably invested in the development of renewable power assets and energy efficiency companies, and we are continuing to search for new opportunities.”
Barry also said that climate change factored into the university’s risk assessment in continuing to invest in oil and gas companies, as well, “as we expect a more volatile range of financial outcomes.” Earlier this week, Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences passed a motion, 179 to 20, calling for that institution to make a similar commitment, WBUR reported.