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Riverside Church to audit endowment, divest from fossil-fuel companies

Riverside Church, New York

Riverside Church, New York, will conduct an audit to determine how much of the church's $140 million endowment is invested in the Carbon Underground 200 and will eliminate those holdings over the next five years.

The Carbon Underground 200 refers to the 200 largest publicly traded fossil-fuel companies.

The church's endowment already divested its coal holdings, said a spokeswoman for the church.

“We share a long history of activism at the Riverside Church. The very real threat of climate change presents us with yet another opportunity to discover the active response that fits with our values and reflects the diversity of thought within our community,” said Lisa Hinds-Salmon, chairwoman of Riverside's finance committee, in a news release last week.

Riverside Church was built in 1930 by the son of Standard Oil owner John D. Rockefeller Sr. The church's endowment was seeded by the Rockefeller family. In 2014, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, established by the grandchildren of John D. Rockefeller Sr., announced its intent to divest from fossil fuels.