As the culmination of a multi-year shift, the University of California (UC) 10-campus system said Tuesday it has divested more than $1 billion in fossil fuel investments within its $126 billion portfolio.
While it is divesting from fossil fuels, the 285,000-student UC system has invested more than $1 billion in renewable energy company stocks, the Board of Regents reported.
UC Regents Chair Richard Sherman said the university system remains a long-term investor but it has a bigger focus on “promising opportunities in the alternative energy field.”
The UC system may be the largest university system to divest fossil fuels investments, but governments and many corporations and groups have undertaken similar actions in recent years.
BlackRock Inc. founder and CEO Larry Fink earlier this year said the No. 1 asset manager in the world, at $7 trillion, planned to shift investments and exit stocks that “present a high sustainability-related risk,” including from some fossil fuel projects.
Last year the government of Norway also proposed dropping U.S. independent producers from its estimated $1 trillion pension fund to reduce the “aggregate oil price risk” to the economy. Integrated producers, many with substantial renewables businesses, would not be impacted.
Environmental group 350.org said more than 50 U.S. universities have committed to full or partial fossil fuel stock divestitures among 1,100 organizations that also cover religious, governmental, corporate and nonprofit organizations.