Over the past few years, student protest movements from around North America and Europe have been pressuring their universities to “divest”, or pull all their money out, from companies that make their money on fossil fuels.
The argument has always been that the multi-million dollar endowments managed by the schools should not be complacent in companies causing climate change.
Hundreds of universities have agreed with the student concerns, and have either divested from these companies, or pledged to avoid investing in them in the future. The students have celebrated their great victory.
However, current research shows that many of the schools who have made these pledges held so little equity in these companies to begin with (often none at all), that the divestment pledges account for somewhere between little and no action on the part of the universities making them.