Jan 27 The University of Maine Board of Trustees
has unanimously agreed to divest from direct holdings in
The board's decision was influenced by the threat and
potential costs of climate change, the steady decline of coal as
a non-renewable resource and the emergence of new green
technologies, the university said in a statement on Monday.
Iris SanGiovanni, a member of Divest UMaine, a coalition of
students, faculty and alumni from the University of Maine and
the University of Southern Maine that advocates for divestment,
said the group was "ecstatic that the Board of Trustees made the
"Divesting now protects our assets, and sends the message
that we take climate change seriously," SanGiovanni said.
The decision affects $502,000 of direct investments in coal
and nearly 30 percent of the system's total $1.7 million
exposure to coal in its managed investments, pension fund, and
The decision by the university system follows a similar one
by Stanford University last year to divest from coal companies
and marks the first public state university system in the United
States to make such a move.
The University of Maine system's total investments were $589
million as of October.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle, one of seven
schools in the state public university system, said it had also
divested all fossil fuel investments from its foundation, a
Some board members at the University of Maine said they
would continue to consider a full fossil fuel divestment across
(Reporting by Robin Respaut; Editing by James Dalgleish)