Brown votes against coal industry disvestment

Oct 27, 2013

The corporation that runs Brown University has decided against purging its endowment of investments in coal companies, as a student-led group, Brown Divest Coal, had campaigned for.

In a statement released by university President Christina Paxson, the corporation decided that Brown will address climate change though teaching and research, rather than through coal divestment.

``How Brown can best lead is a complex and multifaceted question, without one correct answer or unanimity of opinion,’’ said Paxson. ``Some have made the case that, in addition to conducting cutting-edge research, the university should lead through divestiture. Others have made the case that divestiture does not reflect the complexity of issues associated with the use of coal and society’s efforts to reduce our reliance on coal…’’

In a news release, Brown Divest Coal criticized the decision and said Brown should have stepped up to the forefront of the climate change issue. The student group also was upset that several corporation members with connections to the coal  industry did not recuse themselves from the discussion of the coal divestment matter.

Brown divested from tobacco companies in 2003.