The University of California is to gradually reduce fossil fuels investments, according to UC Office of the President Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Singh Bachher.
Bachher spoke at the UC Regents Investments Subcommittee meeting in March, in which he explained that the UC is not making any new investments in oil and gas assets. In addition, UC fossil fuel and oil companies holdings will be reduced in the long-term based on the long term financial risks for the UC General Endowment Pool and the UC Retirement Plan.
“I can see a point in the near future where we will start to fundamentally reduce those [oil and fossil fuels] private asset holdings,” he said.
This decision came after Fossil Free California’s push for fossil-free investments in the UC system, which led to the divestment of $150 million in funds one year ago. Several UC chancellors have endorsed the movement to divest from fossil fuels, including UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. Yet, the UC Office of the President (UCOP) says that it is innacurate to characterize this decision as “divestment” and that the UC does not make blanket divestments.
“I have received almost a hundred letters in the last two weeks at my office, all in nice bright orange envelopes from students very passionate, mostly handwritten,” Bachher said at the meeting. “I have received them, I have read them, I appreciate your sentiment and passion around sort of [sic] fossil fuels and the continued role for us to de-risk, we do agree with you.”
Ethan Coston is a Staff Writer for The Triton. You can follow him @Ethan4Books
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article was titled “UC to Gradually Divest from Fossil Fuels”. The article has also been updated with information and comment provided by UCOP.