Student Activists Target Endowments’ Fossil-Fuel Investments

Students at dozens of universities are ratcheting up campaigns urging schools to pull endowment funds out of coal, oil, and gas stocks, part of a larger effort to put climate change back on the national political agenda, The New York Times writes.

Students at Swarthmore College pioneered the protest, pressing for divestment at their campus two years ago, and the campaign has escalated in recent months, in large part through work by environmentalist writer Bill McKibben and his climate-advocacy group, 350.org.

Two small New England colleges, Unity College in Maine and Hampshire College in Massachusetts, have changed their investment policies on energy stocks, but colleges with large endowments say boycotting fossil-fuel companies would undermine their goal of maximizing returns to support education.

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