Antioch University Endowment to Go Fossil Fuel Free

Antioch University will fully divest from fossil fuels within three years.

The university has committed to an immediate freeze on all new investments in fossil fuel companies and will fully divest its endowment fund from fossil fuels by 2023.

Antioch University Chancellor William R. Groves made the commitment after overseeing analysis into the University’s financial investments that showed that the university holds only about a 1.4% position in Carbon Underground 200 fossil fuel companies, which is significantly lower than most college and university endowments.

Antioch will join the global divestment movement that has to date committed to keeping an estimated $14.09 trillion in assets fossil fuel free.

“I am pleased to announce that Antioch University’s investments will now be more aligned with our core mission to advance social, economic, and environmental justice,” said Antioch University Chancellor William R. Groves, JD. “Fossil fuel divestment is consistent with achieving our vision to be a leading university offering learners and communities transformative education in a global context that fosters innovation and inspires social action. This is simply another step in Antioch’s long and rich history of standing up for social justice that has included, in 1978, being one of the first higher education institutions in the U.S. to divest from corporations profiting from Apartheid in South Africa.”

Antioch alumnus Josh Lipkowitz, who led the divestment campaign at Antioch in his role as student Sustainability and Social Justice Coordinator, said, “I am thrilled to learn about the University’s commitment to go fossil-free. Today I am a proud Antioch alum and I encourage the University to continue to find new ways to wield the power of a mission-driven investment portfolio.”

Antioch Environmental Studies Advocacy master’s candidate and Fulbright Scholar Flick Monk, who currently leads the campaign, said, “Our planet and our communities are in social, environmental, and ecological crisis and these crises require bold urgent action. Divestment is an important first step in aligning our endowment with our mission to help create a more just and equitable world.”

“Climate change is an existential threat that demands bold leadership action. Warming of the global climate system is unequivocal and is accelerating rapidly,” said Antioch Environmental Studies faculty member Abigail Abrash Walton, PhD. “The time for effective action is now to stop the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels. Divestment represents one of the most effective actions that any investor can take,”

“It is the academy’s role to exercise thought leadership and to educate our students and society at large on issues of great moral and practical consequence,” added Antioch Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Chet Haskell. “This commitment exemplifies the best of the academy’s leadership.”

About Antioch University:

Antioch University was founded in 1852 in Yellow Springs, Ohio as a private, liberal arts college. Horace Mann, known as the founder of the American public school system and the first president of Antioch, pioneered the introduction of coeducation, non-sectarianism, and non-segregation in order to educate “minds free from prejudice and yearning after truth.”

Antioch University’s mission is to provide learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. The university includes five campuses Keene, New Hampshire; Yellow Springs, Ohio; Los Angeles, California; Santa Barbara, California; and Seattle, Washington. As a private, nonprofit, comprehensive institution, Antioch University is a singularly accredited, highly integrated University. Antioch offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in Arts and Humanities; Psychology, Counseling and Health Professions; Education; Environmental Studies and Sustainability; Interdisciplinary and Liberal Studies; and Business, Management, and Leadership. To learn more, please visit antioch.edu

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SOURCE Antioch University

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NOTES

  1. Antioch University has committed to divesting its endowment fund from fossil fuels within three years. Currently, only about 1.4% of its endowment fund is invested in fossil fuels.
  2. Antioch University joins hundreds of institutions that have committed to phasing out fossil fuel investments globally. To date, more than 1,000 institutional investors with $14.09 trillion in assets have committed to divest from fossil fuels. https://gofossilfree.org/divestment/commitments/
  3. The global fossil fuel movement is made up of a wide range of organizations and institutions including universities, colleges, faith organizations, businesses, pension funds, philanthropic donors, cities, municipalities, and individual investors: https://www.arabellaadvisors.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Global-Divestment-Report-2018.pdf
  4. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report published in November 2018 highlighted that there are only 10 years left to make the large-scale and unprecedented changes in order to limit global warming to moderate levels of 1.5 degrees celsius, and that going beyond this would be catastrophic for humanity. https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/
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