Dartmouth College formally announces plan to divest from fossil fuels

By District Energy posted 10-13-2021 17:18

  

The Dartmouth

Summary

The College’s endowment will no longer be directly invested in fossil fuels and the Dartmouth Investment Office intends to allow its remaining public holdings in the sector to expire, according to an Oct. 8 announcement.

Although this release marks the College’s first formal announcement of its divestment plan, the DIO banned fossil fuel holdings in 2020. 

The College’s divestment approach results from two decisions made over a four-year span: a 2017 decision that barred the endowment from making any “new investments in private fossil fuel extraction, exploration and production funds” and a decision in early 2020 “for [the College’s] direct public portfolio to no longer hold investments in fossil fuel companies,” according to the announcement.

Together, these bylaws prohibit any future fossil fuel investments from entering the endowment. The College will allow any holdings that remain to expire once their contract expires, College President Phil Hanlon explained in an exclusive interview. 

“As the terms of these partnerships approach their legally-contracted conclusions… the [investment] managers will move through the sale processes of those assets,” Hanlon said.

The move comes after Harvard University announced a similar divestment strategy in September, after the 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report outlined the disastrous effects of continued climate inaction, after the student body presidents of the eight Ivy League schools called on the League to divest in April and after years of activism from Divest Dartmouth. 

The College’s energy investment strategy consists of transitioning away from fossil fuels and instead focusing on renewable alternatives. According to the statement, “evidence that correlates the production of fossil fuels with the warming of the atmosphere is convincing and widely accepted.”

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