ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Michigan League of Conservation Voters today issued the following statement after University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announced the University will embark on a sweeping disinvestment strategy that will reduce all greenhouse gas emissions for the University’s entire $13 billion investment portfolio to net zero by 2050.
The Board of Regents adopted the measure, which will do the following:
- The University will not invest in companies that are primarily engaged in oil reserves, oil extraction or thermal coal extraction.
- In addition, the University will not directly invest in companies that are the largest contributors to greenhouse gases, currently defined as the top 100 coal and top 100 oil & gas publicly traded reserve holders as identified on the Carbon Underground 200 list.
- The University will shift its natural resources investment focus toward renewable energy investments.
- The University will commit to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions from its entire $13B investment portfolio to net-zero by 2050 (which aligns with the deadline set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement).
- The university’s Investment Office will provide annual reports to the Board of Regents in public session detailing the status of progress toward this commitment.
This announcement makes the University of Michigan the first public university in the country to adopt all of these commitments.
“With this plan, the University of Michigan is literally putting its money where its mouth is by financially committing to do its part to tackle the climate crisis and work towards a healthy future for our families and children,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “We all have a role to play in tackling climate change, and it will take the public and private sectors and all levels of government working in tandem to reduce pollution and invest in cleaner sources of energy. We applaud the University of Michigan for leading the way with its bold commitment to fighting climate change, the single greatest threat of our time.”