時事英語 Current Events Course at Matsusho College 2020 summer
UC becomes nation’s largest university to divest fully from fossil fuels
The University of California is a system of public universities. There are 10 schools. They are all in California. The system is called UC for short. The university made an announcement on May 19. It said it has fully divested from all fossil fuels. This means the university system will no longer earn money by investing in fossil fuels.
Gas and oil are fossil fuels. The use of fossil fuels has been linked to climate change. Investing is when you put money into something. You often earn money from that investment. Divestment is when you take your money out of that investment.
College campuses across the country have been demanding that their schools divest. People want to divest to fight climate change. UC is the largest educational system in the country to fully divest from fossil fuels.
The movement against fossil fuels has been growing. 350.org is an organization. It helps fight climate change. It says that 1,100 groups support fossil fuel divestment. Together, these groups are worth $11 trillion. More than 50 of those groups are U.S. universities.
Fossil Free UC Protest Was A Major Success
UC students started organizing for divestment in 2012. Students were involved across all the campuses. They formed a group. It is called Fossil Free UC.
In 2017, Fossil Free UC members had a protest. They were students at UC Santa Barbara. They stayed inside a school building for three days. Henry Yang is the leader of UC Santa Barbara. He supported divestment after the protest. This was a major success. He became the first school leader to support divestment.
UC teachers also support divestment. In 2019, an organization of UC teachers announced its support. The group asked the university to divest. They said divestment would help prevent an environmental disaster.
For the last five years, UC has been following a financial plan. It has been trying to move its money. It has been moving it into more environmentally friendly investments. An example would be wind and solar energy. UC has made more money since it made these changes.
Environmentalists say that this decision was groundbreaking. UC has a lot of money. Its investments are currently worth $226 billion. Also, UC is a very large system. It educates 285,000 students.
Any University Can Do It, 350.org Says
Richard Brooks works with 350.org. He said that UC is one of the most recognizable universities in the country. He said if UC can do it, any university can do it.
Jagdeep Singh Bachher is in charge of UC’s investments. He made an announcement on March 19. He said that UC has divested more than $1 billion from fossil fuels. It has invested $1 billion in clean energy. Clean energy is energy that is powered by the wind, sun or water. Bachher said his team believes that fossil fuel investments are too risky.
For educational purposes.
By Los Angeles Times, adapted by Newsela staff