Earlier this month, Middlebury College president Ronald Liebowitz announced that the college is initiating a formal process to investigate the possibility of divesting from fossil fuel companies. The college has a $900 million endowment, of which roughly $32 million is invested in fossil fuel companies.
Earlier this fall, a student group on campus made headlines when they issued a false press release claiming that the college had divested from fossil fuel companies in honor of the Dalai Lama’s visit. Bill McKibben’s group, 350 dot org, has called for fossil-fuel divestment campaigns at colleges and universities across the country, and student groups are responding, including at the University of Vermont. Just how successful are divestment campaigns?
Xarissa Holdaway is the senior web producer at the Chronicle of Higher Education. Prior to that, she was the Campus News Reporter for the National Wildlife Federation. She spoke with Vermont Edition about how successful divestment campaigns have been in the past.