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Blog

January 14, 2021

The Cato Institute recently asked a couple of hard-hitting questions about the integrity of some recent divestment-related announcements. One area of focus was put upon the announcement out of New York State who adopted a decarbonization policy for its public pension last month. While some were quick to champion the move as a win for …

January 12, 2021

On the last day of 2020, Creighton University – a small Jesuit school in Nebraska – announced a reversal of its divestment policy and plans to phase out fossil fuel investments from its $587 million endowment. This would not be the first time a university has made a gesture like this. However, it is important …

December 9, 2020

Today, New York’s Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced a pledge to have the state’s pension fund reach net-zero emissions across its investments by 2040. This announcement, unlike how some divestment supporters and media have already framed it to be, is not a commitment to fully divest from fossil fuel holdings. Let’s say that again: The New …

October 22, 2020

It’s no surprise financial experts are sounding the call on the inefficiency of fossil fuel divestment. With the COVID-19 pandemic not fully behind us yet, the new shift towards focusing on economic recovery has financial experts saying divestment isn’t the smartest option. Recently this month, experts and business professionals have issued multiple statements asserting that …

October 16, 2020

New Jersey has become a recent hotbed of divestment activity, with activists now targeting several school endowments as well as the state pension. But while environmental groups are trying to ramp up the pressure, statements by those overseeing these institutions seem to suggest the movement isn’t going very far. Let’s start with Princeton. Princeton University’s …

October 6, 2020

Cambridge University announced last week that it would divest after years of resisting such a policy. The university said it will drop coal and oil and gas investments over the next decade while making “significant” investments in renewable energy by 2025.  The decision walks back on previous divestment rejections Cambridge University had in response to divestment—not too …

September 29, 2020

Moody’s, one of the world’s most respected credit rating agencies, recently called divestment “not a significant factor” for oil and gas companies, despite many claims to the contrary by its proponents. The agency recently commented on the limited impact of divestment in its Investors Service report, drawing a stark contrast with climate activists’ claims that …

September 21, 2020

For years, divestment activists on Ivy League campuses wrote proposals and letters, held demonstrations and sit-ins, and yet have made little-to-no progress on convincing universities to eliminate fossil fuel investments. So, for the new decade, divestment activists developed a new strategy: change the make-up of these administrations from the inside out. Recently, pro-divestment groups like …

September 2, 2020

A study conducted by researchers from Harvard and the University of Chicago and published in the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) concluded, unsurprisingly, that divestment was a less effective approach than engagement to push companies to address climate change. Divestment does little to advance ESG goals and is, in fact, a lot messier. While …

August 25, 2020

After a months-long advocacy campaign, Harvard Forward, a controversial anti-fossil fuel coalition has secured three seats on Harvard’s Board of Overseers, raising the possibility that activists will try to subvert the independence of the school’s investment strategy and force the school to halt all investments in fossil fuels—or potentially even mutual funds holding fossil fuel …