Princeton University adopts dissociation process to advance action on climate change

Written by
Woman standing in garden
Denise Valenti, Office of Communications
June 22, 2021

Princeton University has taken another concrete step in its commitment to sustainability and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The University’s Board of Trustees recently established an administrative process for dissociating from companies engaged in climate disinformation campaigns or that are involved in the thermal coal and sand tar segments of the fossil fuel industry. Thermal coal, which is burned for steam and used to produce electricity, emits substantially more carbon dioxide in its combustion than alternatively available fossil fuels. Tar sands oil is derived from loose sands or sandstone and produces significantly higher emissions than conventional crude oil.

The University also plans to establish a committee of experts to determine how to define, measure and benchmark the greenhouse gas impact of the University’s endowment. The committee will recommend ways to reduce the aggregate harmful climate impact of Princeton’s direct and indirect holdings.

Princeton is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions on its campus by 2046, which is the University’s 300th anniversary. The University’s Sustainability Action Plan, adopted by the University in April 2019, sets bold targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and outlines innovative strategies to engage all faculty, staff and students in creating a sustainable campus and future. 

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