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Maine college asked to divest fossil fuel stocks

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm •  Published: February 7, 2013

But McKibben said schools typically have only a small percentage of their investments, perhaps 1 or 2 percent, in publicly traded companies in the fossil fuel industry, so shifting those investments elsewhere shouldn't be a huge undertaking.

Most colleges are already committed to sustainability and having green campuses, so divesting themselves of stocks in companies that add to the world's carbon footprint shouldn't be too big of a leap, he said.

Three schools — Unity College in Maine, Hampshire College in Massachusetts, and Sterling College in Vermont — have adopted policies to lead them away from investments in fossil fuel companies.

"If they're serious about their commitment to sustainability, they'll find ways to make this happen," he said.

Student campaigns on about 15 campuses months ago urged schools to stop investing new money in fossil fuel companies and get out of current investments in those companies within five years, McKibben said.

Campaigns have since mushroomed, with students calling on their schools to get on board. McKibben said petitions have been circulating at five schools in Maine — Bowdoin, Bates and Colby colleges, College of the Atlantic and the University of Southern Maine.