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Princeton ‘Dissociates’ From 90 Fossil Fuel Companies

October 3, 2022

Princeton University is cutting ties with 90 fossil fuel companies following a vote by the Board of Trustees. The university announced the move Thursday, noting that the decision to “dissociate” is part of an effort to achieve an endowment portfolio with net-zero emissions.

The language used by the university stopped short of the term “divestment,” which has been a rallying cry for students and other activists concerned about climate change and the impact of fossil fuels (though a Princeton spokesperson said that Dissociation goes further than divestment).

“As a step toward the Board’s related commitment to achieving a net-zero endowment portfolio over time, the Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO) will also eliminate all holdings in publicly traded fossil fuel companies. PRINCO will also ensure that the endowment does not benefit from any future exposure to those companies,” the university statement said.

Princeton has one of the largest endowments in U.S. higher education, recently valued at $37.7 billion, and has long faced pressure from students and climate activists to divest from fossil fuels.

The move comes amid mounting pressure, and lawsuits, urging colleges to divest from fossil fuels and follows a similar decision made by the University of Washington in early September. (This article has been updated to reflect that Princeton used the term dissociate not disassociate.)

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