A key Brown University oversight committee has voted unanimously to recommend that the school divest from coal, delivering a significant victory to student climate change activists.
The Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies (ACCRIP) has recommended divestment only three times before: from companies operating in Darfur during the genocide there, from tobacco corporations, and from HEI Hotels. Each time, the university's board of trustees took the advice.
Brown President Christina Paxson has indicated that divestment will be on the board's agenda at its next meeting, in May.
Since Septemner, 2100 undergraduates and hundreds of alumni and faculty have signed a petition demanding divestment from the nation's 15 largest coal companies.
The push is part of a national movement to get colleges and universities to pull money out of the coal industry. Thus far, five colleges - Unity College, Hampshire College, Sterling College, Santa Fe Art Institute, and College of the Atlantic - have agreed to divest. Brown would be the biggest prize yet for activists.