Today, our campaign received a redacted copy of a recommendation regarding fossil fuel divestment prepared by the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing. The committee, which was established by the Board of Trustees during their November 2013 meeting, declined our request to release the recommendation ahead of the May 14-15 Board meeting. In the interest of transparency, we feel that the redacted version should be made available to the AU community and have decided to publish the full document here. Here are a few important points that our campaign has pulled out of the recommendation:
1) The committee, whose members were selected by Student Government, the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost, has produced a consensus document.
2) The committee found that, based on a memo from AU’s legal council, divestment could fit within the fiduciary responsibilities of the Board of Trustees.
3) The committee recommended that AU adopt a fossil fuel divestment policy, consisting of at least three elements. These elements include immediate divestment of small portions of the endowment, a negative screen for the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies, and yearly assessments of further divestment options.
4) The committee also recommended creating a green investment fund and engaging in shareholder advocacy. It is important to stress that while these steps may be compatible with a more robust divestment policy, they would not alone represent divestment or a meaningful moral statement on climate change.
Our campaign is pleased that the committee has produced a thorough assessment of divestment at AU. However, we feel that a more aggressive approach to divestment is necessary to achieve the goals of the fossil fuel divestment campaign and climate justice more broadly. We expect the recommendation to result in a decision by the full Board at the upcoming meeting.