For several years, climate change and global warming activists demanded that universities and colleges divest from their fossil fuel investments to save the planet from humanity’s negative effects on the environment and Mother Earth. It appeared that their protests and demands swayed Georgetown University, which announced that it will divest from fossil fuels.
According to Inside Higher Ed, the university’s board of directors approved a policy, in which the university will divest from public securities of fossil fuel companies within the next five years and from existing private investments within the next decade. Instead of maintaining fossil fuel investment, the university will continue its investments in renewable energy. Another part of the new policy is the freezing of “new endowment investments in companies or funds whose primary business relates to fossil fuel exploration or extraction.”
Georgetown University’s announcement said that it was a demonstration of the university’s “broad commitment to sustainability.” The university’s chief investment officer, Michael Barry, said that this move is “a part of the long-term solution required to prevent the most dangerous effects of climate change.” He added that the university hoped more companies “will move further toward contributing to a sustainable future.”
The university said that this move is one way to “honor” Pope Francis’s encyclical ‘Laudato Si,’ which advocated for pro-climate change activism and actions. The announcement also heaped praise on the “student-run GU Fossil Free (GUFF)” organization, which had submitted multiple proposals to the university.
Later in the announcement, Georgetown University mentioned its climate change commitment by forming the Laudato Si’ Fund in 2019. The fund bears the name of Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change and was formed to “provide grants for faculty, students, and staff sustainability projects.” One of the projects that the fund backs is one to build “a working group among Catholic institutions of higher education to develop labor and environmental standards for food procurement on their campuses.”
In short, Georgetown University caved into pressure from climate change student activists and bought into the climate change movement.