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Syracuse University endowment to divest coal, fossil fuel-holdings

coal barge

Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y., is formalizing a plan for its $1.2 billion endowment to divest from coal mining companies and other fossil-fuel holdings, said university spokesman Kevin Quinn.

Syracuse will not directly invest in publicly traded companies whose primary business is extraction of fossil fuels. The university will also direct its external investment managers to take every step possible to prohibit investments in these public companies as well. Mr. Quinn said that the endowment recently reached a position in which it has no direct investments in coal mining or fossil-fuel companies.

The plan to divest follows a meeting in late February between university officials and members of Divest SU, a student-based group seeking to divest the university's endowment from fossil-fuel companies.

The university will also continue to seek additional investments through its endowment in companies that are developing new technology related to solar energy, biofuels and advanced recycling.

The university review of its investments follows the Syracuse University Board of Trustees' adoption of its socially responsible investment policy in 2013.