News Column

Island Institute divests from fossil fuel investments

June 2, 2014

By Stephen Betts, Bangor Daily News, Maine



June 02--ROCKLAND, Maine -- The Island Institute announced at its Saturday board meeting the organization divested its investment holdings of companies that produce fossil fuels.

The Institute has an endowment of about $18 million, which is used to support the programs of the Rockland-based nonprofit organization.

"Our organization is committed to supporting island and remote coastal communities and ensuring that they remain sustainable and vibrant places to live and work," Island Institute board president Rob Snyder said in a news release issued Monday.

"In every area of our work, from fisheries to community energy to economic development, climate change poses a threat to the long-term survival of these communities. We decided that we had to put our money where our mouth is. It's wrong for us to invest in companies that make money producing fossil fuels, because they're contributing to the very problem that's putting the future of Maine island communities at risk," Snyder said.

"Island communities face major problems because of climate change," Donna Damon, an Island Institute board member and an eighth-generation resident of Chebeague Island, said in the news release. "Sea level rise, changes in the shellfish industry, increased storm activity, just to name a few. I'm glad to see our organization making an important symbolic gesture toward stopping climate change."

"There's a growing movement to divest from these companies," Island Institute Finance Committee Chairman George Cole said. "We are proud to join a growing list of foundations, universities and organizations who have taken this step."

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(c)2014 the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine)

Visit the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine) at www.bangordailynews.com

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Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)


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