Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, President of the first higher education institution to divest its financial portfolio from fossil fuels, has been invited to join the steering committee of the Maine Climate Table.
The Maine Climate Table (MCT), is a broad coalition of individuals and organizations from the nonprofit, business, philanthropic and government sectors whose vision is to create a state-based model for climate communication and climate action that will increase civic engagement and lead to action by elected officials.
Maine Climate Table supports increased private and public investment in job creation and workforce training that advance climate mitigation and adaptation and build on Maine’s comparative advantages. MCT contributes to associated benefits such as moving toward energy independence, food security, healthier forest management and improved public health.
“It’s really exciting to have the president of the first college to divest from fossil fuels on the steering committee,” said Catherine Lee, founder and chair of the Maine Climate Table. “Dr. Khoury is clearly committed to Maine and to helping the state realize its educational, economic, and environmental potential.”
“Unity College is honored to join Maine’s leading sustainability institutions on the steering committee for the Maine Climate Table,” said Khoury. “Small private higher education has an important role to play in solving the most pressing issues of our time, like climate change. Climate change itself is a global symptom of a lack of systems thinking, the kind of informed critical thinking that we teach at America’s Environmental College.”
The Unity College Board of Trustees made history when it voted unanimously to divest its portfolio from investments in the Top 200 fossil fuel companies during fall semester 2012.
As the first institution of higher learning in the United States to take that step, Unity College became the standard bearer for a national movement that now has exceeded $5.2 trillion in assets diverted from fossil fuel production, according to a 2016 report by Arabella Advisors.