Fossil Fuel Divestment: Colleges & Universities

Colleges and universities are leading the way. Students have always been key to movements of conscience, and this fight is no different.

Institutions of higher education are charged with preparing their students for lifetimes of work and service. But if those institutions are invested in fossil fuel companies, then students’ educations are being subsidized by investments that guarantee they won't have much of a planet on which to make use of their degrees.

Colleges and universities rush to launch greening initiatives, sustainability offices, and environmental curricula, but it makes no sense to green the campus and not the portfolio. Fossil fuel divestment is a reasonable next step -- and it’s the right thing to do.

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Campaigns (389)

  • Western Michigan University: Go Fossil Free!
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years. As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on Western Michigan University to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action on behalf of Western Michigan University will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.
    143 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Peace Center
  • Denison University: Go Fossil Free!
    There is a group of students, faculty, alumni and other affiliates of Denison University who are urging the institution to divest assets and endowment money out of socially and environmentally irresponsible companies, specifically the top 200 fossil fuel companies that hold the most carbon reserves. Holding money in these types of investments not only perpetuates support for an industry that profits from the destruction of the natural environment, but also adversely represents the values and mission of Denison University. As an institution of higher education that fosters "a commitment to treat each other and the environment with mutual respect, tolerance, and civility", Denison has an ethical duty to address such a global issue as climate change, which is not only a scientific and environmental threat but also an issue of equity and human rights. The effects of climate change are varied and numerous, including extreme weather, melting sea ice, global ocean acidity, flooding, drought, reduced agricultural output, and increased levels of illness and disease. In this last year alone the United States experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impact hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. The scientific consensus is overwhelmingly clear; we cannot burn even half of known global fossil fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet and amplifying human and environmental suffering. ***We are immensely proud of Denison's dedication to solar power, and efficiency retrofits as well as a dedicated interest in systems of sustainable agriculture, but feel strongly that as long as we continue to support the fossil fuel industry in such a direct manner these actions lose their weight and the college will lose credibility as a progressive and forward-thinking institution that actively demonstrates the ethics and values that it teaches.*** We call on Denison University to immediately freeze any and all new investments in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from any funds held in the Top 200 Publicly Traded Companies with the largest estimated coal, oil and gas reserves, as reported by the Carbon Tracker Initiative. We believe such action on behalf of Denison University will not only be a sound decision for our institution's financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.
    143 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Megan Hart
  • University of Northern Colorado: Go Fossil Free!
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years. As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on The University of Northern Colorado to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action on behalf of The University of Northern Colorado will not only be a sound decision for our institution's financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.
    139 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Dean Walker
  • BARD COLLEGE FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT PETITIOn
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50 billion in damages and already America has seen its first climate change refugees. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years.
    138 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Hanna Mitchell
  • East Hartford
    Divest Central Connecticut State University From Fossil Fuels
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years. As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on Central Connecticut State University to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action on behalf of Central Connecticut State University will not only be a sound decision for our institution's financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.
    136 of 200 Signatures
  • Boston University: Go Fossil Free!
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years. As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on Boston University to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action on behalf of Boston University will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.
    136 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Ben Thompson
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry: Go Fossil Free!
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years. The College of Environmental Science and Forestry has a mission to “advance the knowledge and skills and to promote the leadership necessary for the stewardship of both the natural and designed environments.” We feel that the college has the opportunity to extend its environmental stewardship practices into it finances and further contribute to SUNY ESF’s vision for a better world. As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on the College of Environmental Science and Forestry to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action on behalf of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.
    135 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Kate Montgomery
  • LA
    University of Southern California: Go Fossil Free!
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years. As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on the University of Southern California to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action on behalf of the University of Southern California will not only be a sound decision for our institution's financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.
    134 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Christina Gutierrez
  • University of Iowa: Go Fossil Free!
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years. As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on University of Iowa to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action on behalf of University of Iowa will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.
    133 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Jenna Hammerich
  • College of Charleston: Go Fossil Free!
    As an educational institution, with the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders, the College of Charleston has an obligation to lead by example and to illustrate to the student body the importance of a life directed by values and engaging in solutions. Where we put our money, and what we do with it, is a tangible representation of our values. To develop a set of institutional values and principles to guide our investments towards industries with whom we share core values serves to mutually enrich and integrate both parties, and to help the College identify and engage with its societal priorities and place in the community. We, the student body, alumni, faculty, staff and the broader College of Charleston community, urge the College's administration to engage collectively and pro-actively with the College of Charleston community to develop a set of institutional values that will guide the College’s future investment strategies. This initiative is consistent with the College’s commitment to guiding and supporting the next generation's engagement in solutions, and the return to a dynamic balance between the human and the biophysical systems of the Earth.
    133 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Cara Lauria