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 (379)

  • University of British Columbia: 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 British Columbia 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 British Columbia 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.
    104 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Gordon Katic
  • Ohio University - Main Campus: 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 Ohio 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 Ohio 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.
    103 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Benjamin Bushwick
  • University of Oklahoma: 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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the well being of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos. OU has thus far shown that it has the desire to become a more sustainable university and has put policies in place to achieve that goal. We hope that OU continues this effort by continuing the mission of being a more sustainable university. If OU divests from fossil fuels then it is showing that it is committed to not only making the campus sustainable and environmentally friendly but also the rest of the world. Thank you,
    101 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Matthew Davis
  • Fossil Free UCONN
    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 Connecticut 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 Connecticut 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. It is not moral or sustainable to invest student monies into companies that destroy their futures. As a university ranking 1st as a Sierra Club cool school, also a "Campus Sustainability Leader" on its College Sustainability Report Card 2011, and ranking 3rd in the UI GreenMetric World University Rankings, UConn cannot hold these honors with an endowment invested in fossil fuels. Divestment from fossil fuels aligns with the beliefs of the university.
    101 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Ronald Tardiff
  • University of California - San Diego: 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 California - San Diego 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 California - San Diego 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.
    101 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Allison Yee
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Go Fossil Free!
    Here we address an issue without boundaries: Climate Change. The global environment is changing at an alarming rate: 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. World wide the effects are catastrophic and significantly more palpable than here in Chicago; dollar amounts hold no comparison. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even one quarter of global fossil-fuel reserves without causing devastation far beyond what we’ve experienced. As the top consumers of our planet’s resources, it is our moral responsibility to take action for our shared future. We ask that SAIC join the nationwide movement to make a real and immediate effort towards freezing any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to develop a plan to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. Investing in fossil-fuels compromises not only SAIC’s financial portfolio due the unstable nature of the industries foundation, but it endangers the health and habitat of every living organism on the planet. We ask you to work alongside us in this effort. Divesting will not only secure a more sustainable long-term investment portfolio but it will play a pivotal role in bringing this most pressing issue into conversations among local, state, and federal decision makers. As we’ve learned from civil rights issues of the past, there is a right side and a wrong side of history. This is an opportunity for SAIC to take a stance towards change for the better and to fully acknowledge our responsibility as one of the most influential art colleges around the world. With Chicago as our base, our reach is global. A decision such as this is beyond international, it is world changing. Dr. Massey, we hope that you will stand alongside us in this effort, and look forward to working with you to help the SAIC administration move towards the future.
    99 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Francesca Dana
  • Divest Saint Xavier University Now
    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. 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.
    99 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Neveen Hammad
  • Roosevelt University: Go Fossil Free!
    Dear President Middleton, As Roosevelt continues to establish itself as a leader in campus sustainability, we must be ready to engage in sustainable practices at all levels. We are committed to strengthening the social justice culture at Roosevelt, and we believe leadership on climate change is essential to our university’s social justice title. With one of the first sustainability programs of its kind and the recent Gold LEED Certification of the Wabash Building, Roosevelt is already building a name for itself as a leader in sustainability. To distinguish these efforts, we must demonstrate leadership through our investments. Our attempts to ‘green’ our campus will gain integrity if we also ‘green’ our portfolio. A social justice university should have a socially responsible endowment, and the growing movement around fossil fuel divestment demonstrates the need for immediate action on climate change. The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly clear. In this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted thousands of people and cost our country billions of dollars. 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 Roosevelt 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. More broadly we encourage a transparent investment policy, with socially responsible investments becoming a point of pride for the university. We believe such action on behalf of Roosevelt 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. We look forward to collaborating with students, faculty, and administrators on this and other projects. Roosevelt has an opportunity to be one of five universities in the country to divest from the fossil fuel industry and to be the first in Chicago. Such action would put Roosevelt on the map as a university committed to solving the climate crisis and further its social justice mission. RU Fossil Free
    98 of 100 Signatures
  • University of Nevada - Reno: 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 Nevada, Reno 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 Nevada, Reno 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.
    96 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Kyle Bladow
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 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 MIT 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 MIT 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.
    96 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Randal Pope