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University of Washington to divest from fossil fuels – Pensions & Investments

University of Washington, Seattle, will divest from fossil fuels and has set a goal of investing at least 2.5% of its $4.7 billion consolidated endowment fund in climate-solution companies or money managers.

The university’s…….

University of Washington, Seattle, will divest from fossil fuels and has set a goal of investing at least 2.5% of its $4.7 billion consolidated endowment fund in climate-solution companies or money managers.

The university’s board of regents approved a plan at its Sept. 8 meeting to divest completely from fossil-fuel companies by the fiscal year ending June 30, 2027, it announced in a news release on its website.

The plan also includes a commitment to achieve net-zero emissions in the consolidated endowment fund by fiscal year 2050.

The resolution approved by the board directs the University of Washington Investment Management Co., which oversees the management of the endowment fund, to begin exiting all direct investments in fossil-fuel companies by the date above, engage with portfolio holdings and external managers to “encourage acknowledgment, measurement and reduction of climate impacts,” according to resolution text on the university’s website.

The resolution also includes a commitment not to renew “indirect investments in funds primarily focusing on fossil fuel extraction or reserves.”

The resolution includes allowances for firms it says are “contributing to the transition to sustainable energy.”

The resolution comes about 18 months after the university’s institutional climate action group submitted a petition to the board of regents calling for fossil fuel divestment. The board created an advisory committee on socially responsible investing that met from September 2021 to April and presented its recommendations to the board in May.

“With this resolution, the board wishes to avoid greenwashing and to take meaningful action, putting the University of Washington in the front ranks of universities addressing climate change through research, teaching, operations and investments,” said David Zeeck, chairman of the board of regents, in the news release. “This is an early step in a very important journey to reduce the UW’s impact on the environment through our investments and operations.”

The news release did not say how much the endowment fund currently holds in fossil fuel companies.

University spokesman Victor Balta could not be immediately reached for further information.

Source: https://www.pionline.com/esg/university-washington-divest-fossil-fuels-sets-goal-investing-climate-solutions

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