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 (381)

  • Prescott College: Going Fossil Free!
    The Divestment Initiative at Prescott College was first developed by recent graduate Kara Kukovich, who prepared a report on the ethical, financial and environmental reasons for fossil fuel divestment at Prescott College. The action gained widespread support from students, faculty, staff and Executives at the college, and was approved by all major internal governance committees within a few short months. All we need to do now is continue with the plan...
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    Created by Vincent Pawlowski Picture
  • University of Maine System: Go Fossil Free!
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet; our country is experiencing record-breaking heat, droughts, and flooding, which impacts hundreds of thousands of people and costs our country hundreds of billions of dollars. The temperature of the northeastern region is increasing steadily and the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than any other ocean on the planet, as well as rapidly acidifying. This is already having major impacts on the environment and economy of Maine. 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 Maine System to fully divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies. We believe such action on behalf of the University of Maine System will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future students, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.
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    Created by laurie stearns
  • Williams College: Go Fossil Free!
    Across the country, led by students and prominent environmentalists, including Bill McKibben, the fossil fuel divestment movement is growing. Three nearby colleges have already committed to divestment: Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts; Unity College in Maine; and Sterling College in Vermont. Students are running strong fossil fuel divestment campaigns at more than 200 colleges and universities, including Amherst College, Middlebury College, Swarthmore College, Harvard University, Brown University, and Tufts University. At Amherst, just as at Williams, students, faculty, and alumni are calling for no new direct investments in coal. The Amherst Board of Trustees has expressed willingness to pursue coal divestment but would like to work in conjunction with another school. As our closest peers and rivals join the movement, it is time for Williams to follow suit or risk falling behind. On November 16th, 2012, over 130 students and faculty turned out to help launch the student-organized coal divestment campaign. Numerous alumni have expressed their support for the campaign and are becoming more involved. As members of the Williams faculty, we join them to call for an investment policy that precludes direct investment in coal, a policy that is consistent with the Board’s assertion that “being itself privileged by its history and circumstances, Williams understands its own responsibility to contribute by thought and example to the world of higher education.” Williams is already a leader to its peers by providing an exemplary liberal arts education, and with this use of its institutional power, the College will affirm its commitment to leadership.
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    Created by Vera Cecelski
  • University of San Francisco: 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 San Francisco 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 San Francisco 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.
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    Created by Collin Gagne
  • Berea College: 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 Berea College 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 Berea College 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.
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    Created by Bradley Niederriter
  • University of Miami: 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 Miami 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 Miami 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.
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    Created by Nick Sirio
  • State University of New York - College at Purchase: 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 Purchase College, SUNY 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 SUNY Purchase 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.
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  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State 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 Virginia Tech 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 Virginia Tech 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.
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  • Stephen F Austin State 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 Stephen F Austin 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 Stephen F Austin 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.
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    Created by Lauren Saunders
  • Ramapo College, 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 $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.
    57 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Vince Maggio