OAKLAND -- The Peralta Community College District will stop investing in fossil fuel companies within the next five years as it aims to reduce carbon emissions and become a better environmental steward, the district announced Friday.

Peralta is one of a small number of higher education institutions across the country to have taken such a stand, even as student environmentalists -- including at the University of California system and Stanford -- have pressed their leaders to do so.

The environmental justice group 350.org lists nine such commitments on its site, including Peralta, the Foothill-DeAnza Community College Foundation and the San Francisco State University Foundation.

Peralta's board president said the resolution reflects the district's commitment to a sustainable environment.

"I am proud that we have taken the lead on this vital issue and that we are doing something to help reduce these dangerous pollutants and to safeguard the future for our students, our community and our planet," board President Abel Guillen said in a news release.

The 30,000-student Peralta district includes Oakland's Laney and Merritt colleges, Berkeley City College and College of Alameda.

Follow Katy Murphy at Twitter.com/katymurphy.



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