As Jagdeep Singh Bachher explains in the the San Francisco Chronicle below, the University of California believes climate change is a risk factor and is therefore attempting to comprehensively consider environmental sustainability and social responsibility in their investment strategies. But they are also looking to simultaneously fund solutions. This powerful approach is backed by a strong rationale: Why would institutions divest in dirty energy without investing in cleaner sources? Healthcare institutions must take note. The Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Agenda provides a framework for hospitals and health systems around the world to achieve greater sustainability and contribute to improved public health. After all, a broader commitment to sustainability is key to supporting a healthy future in all regards. Climate for Health is working to gather professionals together to lead the charge on advocating for climate solutions from within health institutions. Join our team.
By Jagdeep Singh Bachher I September 10, 2015
Years from now, 2015 will be understood as a pivotal year for climate policy in California, in the United States and at the United Nations’ upcoming climate meetings in Paris. At the University of California, with investment assets of nearly $100 billion, we believe the response to this progress on climate policy needs to be more than a divestment-or-nothing reflex. Blanket divestment from fossil fuels grabs headlines but doesn’t actively address climate change.
Over the past few months, the university has sold its remaining direct holdings in coal-mining and oil-sands-focused companies. The move is part of our new risk-review process that more comprehensively considers environmental sustainability, social responsibility and governance risks in our investment strategy.
Climate change a risk factor
We believe, like our colleagues at the state’s pension investment fund CalPERS, that climate change is an active risk factor to consider when we evaluate investment opportunities. We will look at carbon prices when we assess electric utility investments. And we believe that investing in solutions to climate change will have more significant impact than a blanket divestment policy. That’s why we are committing $1 billion toward finding solutions to climate change.
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