In a similar decision by Stanford University, the Board of Trustees at the University of Maine announced their unanimous decision to divest from coal-mining companies.
The 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," according to a statement by the university and reported on by the Huffington Post.
While the university system's total investment in coal as of October equaled $589 million, the divestment decision will affect $502,000 of their direct investments and "nearly 30 percent of the system's total $1.7 million exposure to coal in its managed investments, pension fund and operating fund," according to the Huffington Post.
The decision makes the University of Maine the first public state university in the U.S. to divest from coal.
Divest UMaine, a coalition of students, faculty and alumni who advocated for such a divestment, believe this is a step in the right direction. Members of the coalition said the decision not only protects the university's assets, but it show that climate change is being taken very seriously.
With the University of Maine being just one of seven school part of the state public university system, board members vowed to continue the fight for a full divestment across the entire system.
Which university will be next?