UNM Faculty Senate seeks fossil fuel divestment - Albuquerque Journal

UNM Faculty Senate seeks fossil fuel divestment

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The University of New Mexico Faculty Senate is requesting that the UNM Foundation address climate change by divesting from companies involved in fossil fuel extraction and production.

Faculty Senate President Finnie Coleman presented two resolutions passed by the governing body to the UNM Board of Regents on Tuesday.

University of New Mexico students march in an Earth Day Rally on April 22. The UNM Faculty Senate has joined student environmental groups in passing resolutions requesting that the university divest from fossil fuel interests. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

“Sometimes there’s a propensity to dismiss these types of resolutions as mere activism or political posturing,” Coleman said. “Across the nation there have been successful efforts at divestment, but there has to be the stomach for it.”

The University of California system and several Ivy League schools have sold their oil and gas holdings in the last decade.

The resolutions also request that UNM embark on several “green initiatives,” including developing a clean energy plan, discontinuing the burning of fossil fuels for electricity by 2035 and the purchase of vehicles that emit greenhouse gases, adding more electric vehicle charging stations in public parking lots, and shifting university vendors to zero-waste operations by 2025.

UNM should “leverage (its) position as an academic institution,” Coleman said, to support companies and communities that would take an economic hit from divestment and want to transition to new business models.

The UNM Foundation’s Consolidated Investment Fund portfolio includes several equity firms with direct ties to oil and gas, natural gas and coal production, according to the Foundation website.

Separating UNM Foundation dollars from fossil fuel assets will likely be “more of a process than a final decision or final action,” Regent Sandra Begay said.

“I appreciate what you’re pursuing,” Begay said. “It’s going to be a hard lift, to be quite honest.”

Fossil fuel divestment is at the forefront for student groups like UNM Leaders for Environmental Action and Foresight, or LEAF.

Raven Alcott, a UNM LEAF member from San Ildefonso Pueblo, said the institution should take meaningful action to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.

“This university feeds money to fossil fuel industries that will jeopardize our future that we work so hard for every day,” Alcott said at an Earth Day rally in April.

The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico has also passed a resolution requesting that the university divest from fossil fuel interests.

Theresa Davis is a Report for America corps member covering water and the environment for the Albuquerque Journal.

 


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Ex-TorC judge, her husband sentenced to prison
ABQnews Seeker
Couple stole $284,000 from the estate ... Couple stole $284,000 from the estate of a dead man
2
SNM gang member sentenced to life in prison
ABQnews Seeker
Among the crimes attributed to the ... Among the crimes attributed to the 42-year-old is the 2008 murder of his cousin
3
Looks as if 2019 NM gun law is not ...
ABQnews Seeker
APD spokesman said Friday that meetings ... APD spokesman said Friday that meetings are expected to be held this month to create a policy to address the law
4
City councilor-elect gets formal certification
2021 city election
District 1 winner is in dispute ... District 1 winner is in dispute with city clerk over when term begins
5
Councilors want 'labor agreements' on large city projects
ABQnews Seeker
In one of their final actions ... In one of their final actions before leaving office, a pair of Albuquerque city councilors are pushing to make unions part of all major ...
6
NM hits yearly high for daily virus cases at ...
ABQnews Seeker
Over 800 infections found across Bernalillo ... Over 800 infections found across Bernalillo County
7
NM's record-high revenue projections keep climbing
ABQnews Seeker
Latest estimate for 'new' money grows ... Latest estimate for 'new' money grows from $1.4B to $1.6B
8
Shot fired during dispute at Old Town Plaza
ABQnews Seeker
A man shot a gun into ... A man shot a gun into the air during a argument with another man Friday night in the Old Town Plaza. Daren DeAguero, an ...
9
Lobo forward Jay Allen-Tovar happy (playing) on the outside
ABQnews Seeker
Lobo forward Jay Allen-Tovar has flourished ... Lobo forward Jay Allen-Tovar has flourished playing on the outside, but has been admittedly frustrated when asked to playing inside.