The University’s Resources Committee has rejected all elements of a proposal by the Princeton Sustainable Investment Initiative (PSII), a student group, to change investment policies in an effort to reduce the impact of Princeton’s endowment on climate change.
The chair of the Resources Committee, Professor Marc Fleurbaey, said that its decisions not to adopt the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment and the Carbon Disclosure Project were based on the committee’s uncertainty that endorsing either initiative “would have a substantial impact on the University’s already clear and unambiguous commitment to environmental stewardship.”
The committee also rejected a proposal to report the carbon footprint of the endowment on the grounds that there is no standard for calculating it, and rejected the idea of creating a committee to develop environmentally based investment guidelines because investment policies are up to the University’s trustees alone.
As Fleurbaey announced the decision at a May 4 CPUC meeting, about 45 students rose in silent protest, holding signs opposing the University’s investment policies. “By rejecting this proposal, the University has attempted to shut down a dialogue about sustainable investment and how the endowment is managed, but the student body will not accept that,” said Leigh Anne Schriever ’16, a PSII leader.