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There are 5 comments on Campus Reacts to BU’s Commitment to Divest from Fossil Fuels

  1. Honestly I didn’t see a lot of divestiture in the email I received this morning. It reminded me a lot of the carbon offset credits we bought a few years ago, claiming that we somehow are polluting less because of it. Seemed like a nice thing to say to make us feel good without actually changing much.

    1. PERRYD, thanks for your comment. To clarify, although purchasing offset credits is a potential strategy laid out in the Climate Action Plan, Boston University hasn’t done so thus far. Once BU reduces emissions through energy efficiency, switching to electricity and matching our electricity usage with new renewable energy (as we are doing for the Center for Computing and Data Sciences and BU Wind), it will be necessary to close the gap with offsets, starting in 2040. If you would like to discuss this further, please send an email to

      1. I truly respect the effort the Sustainability Office puts forth. My issue is that if the administration were serious about divesting, they’d pick up the phone and tell their broker to get them out of oil. It’d be done by the end of the year.

        I think the answer is in the letter itself, where it’s pointed out that a goal is ‘to avoid large financial losses’.

        I of course understand that the university’s portfolio is complex, but it can’t be so complex that it takes years to stop investing in technologies that present an imminent threat to the planet. The document we received didn’t, in fact, place any time frame around the process apart from immediately divesting direct investments, of which my guess is there are few.

        Policies with long horizons are an effective way to do nothing. You get to make grand announcements now and then let someone else worry about implementation years down the road.

        My challenge to the administration is this: If you are serious about divesting from industries that are inherently harmful such as oil, stand up and do it. Take the loss and send a resounding message that we really mean what we say.

  2. The next step is Boston area universities pressuring Gov. Baker to show bold action in improving public transit in the state. To date, his administration has failed in leading the way. We can all applaud BU divesting, but if everyone applauding is getting in a gas powered car in the morning and evening, we’re only addressing a small part of the issue.

  3. Hi,

    This is a great initiative, and I’m so proud of all the student organizers who have worked on this issue over the last decade (!!!). However, I’m personally unsure of the aims of divestment from endowments, and what good it can actually achieve.

    From my perspective, if an endowment divests shares they have in a fossil fuel company, then someone else is just going to buy the stock at a cheaper price. Behavior at the fossil fuel company remains the same. Shouldn’t organizers instead have focused on getting the endowment to align with other investor activist coalition’s to file shareholder resolutions (like what Engine No. 1 did with Exxon Mobile

    A fellow climate activist and BU alum, Ibrahim Rashid

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