Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice | Election 2020

University Of California Completes Fossil Fuel Divestment

UC San Diego's campus is shown in this undated aerial photo.

Credit: UC San Diego

Above: UC San Diego's campus is shown in this undated aerial photo.

The University of California announced Tuesday that it has divested from all fossil fuels, removing them from its $126-billion investment portfolio.

With 285,000 students, UC becomes the largest educational system in the nation to shed such assets in favor of renewable energy such as solar and wind power.

Environmental goals were included in the university’s published investment framework five years ago.

“As long-term investors, we believe the university and its stakeholders are much better served by investing in promising opportunities in the alternative energy field rather than gambling on oil and gas,” Richard Sherman, chair of the UC Board of Regents’ investments committee, said in a statement.

Jagdeep Singh Bachher, UC’s chief investment officer, said the system has sold more than $1 billion in fossil fuel assets from its pension, endowment and working capital pools and surpassed its five-year goal of investing $1 billion in clean energy projects, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In addition to environmental concerns, fossil fuels have been attacked as being risky investments. Coal prices have been declining and oil prices have plunged because of coronavirus stay-at-home orders that have kept people from commuting to work or other venues.

Bachher said there is likely to be “a bumpy and slow global financial recovery in a post-pandemic world.”

Dozens of universities have committed to divesting themselves of at least some fossil fuel assets.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.