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 (585)

  • Colorado 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 the Colorado 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 Colorado 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 Alex Suber
  • Smith College: Go Fossil Free!
    We recognize global warming as a human rights issue. Climate change caused by burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify tragic climate disasters, such as hurricanes, droughts and floods. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet and furthering human suffering. In 2009 President Christ wrote that a “commitment to resource stewardship and preservation has emerged as a powerful organizing principle in Smith College’s operational and curricular development and a vivid manifestation of the college’s responsibilities to the nation and the world." The college began by creating our Center for the Environment, Ecological Design and Sustainability (CEEDS), developing the major in Environmental Science & Policy, and committing to carbon neutrality by 2030. As a college with a reputation for leadership, it is our responsibility to be a pioneer in the growing international campaign to withdraw financial support from the fossil fuel industry. The next step is clear. We call on Smith College to legitimize these preliminary actions by divesting from fossil fuels. Divestment from fossil fuels is an investment in the future of Smith College.
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    Created by Lauren Ressler
  • Saint Michaels 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 Saint Michael's 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 Saint Michael's 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 Meghan McNulty
  • SUNY College at Geneseo: 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 SUNY College at Geneseo 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 College at Geneseo 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 James Kruegler
  • University of New Brunswick, Fredericton: Go Fossil Free!
    It is becoming more and more apparent that climate change is a reality to be taken seriously. Scientists, climate experts, and many progressive governments around the world agree that 350 parts per million is a safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Currently, the number sits at 392 (ppm). In order to decrease this number back to 350, and avoid a runaway climate catastrophe, 80% of fossil fuels that are currently in reserves owned by fossil fuel corporations must remain underground. The University of New Brunswick is “committ(ed) to understanding and solving the problems of today and tomorrow” as stated in the UNB mission statement. Many of these problems are tied to climate change, which we are facing today and will inevitably be faced with in the future. We call on the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton 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 will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also truly illuminate UNB’s values for innovation, problem solving, and leadership.
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    Created by Kayley Reed Picture
  • Whitman 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 Whitman 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 Whitman College will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s long-term financial stability, 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. Additionally, divesting would reinforce and legitimize Whitman's environmental commitment while also reflecting our institution's progressive social stance.
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    Created by Sierra Dickey
  • Carleton College: Go Fossil Free!
    Carleton College "is committed to being a good citizen of a more sustainable world," and a member of American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. Carleton was the first higher education institution in the country to install a wind turbine in 2004, and built a second in 2011. Solar arrays adorn a residence hall. And yet despite commendable efforts such as these, climate change is accelerating. This fossil-fuel divestment opportunity provides one more opportunity for Carleton to take action against climate change. 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 Carleton 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 Carleton 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 Brett Smith
  • Divest Occidental College From Fossil Fuels
    We must divest if we are to regain our integrity as an institution. Occidental College prides itself on being a liberal arts institution that shapes citizens who will contribute to and better the world society. Therefore, it should not be harming our environment and society through financial support of the fossil fuel industry. Climate change is real. 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. If we do not fully commit ourselves to substantive action as individuals, as institutions, and as a society, climate change will accelerate and intensify on an unprecedented scale. Colleges and universities are unique in the abundant wealth they hold in social, intellectual, and financial capital. This makes these institutions better suited than any other entity to lead our society toward a more just and sustainable future. We have a duty to apply our intelligence and creativity to the enduring problems of our civilization, which include climate change. In its mission statement, Occidental College calls on its students to gain a "deeply rooted commitment to the public good." It would be hypocrisy for the college not to pursue the same goal. Despite using environmental sustainability to enhance its brand, Occidental College backs the destructive fossil fuel industry through its investments. This lack of integrity is unacceptable. If Occidental is to fulfill its mission and uphold its values as an institution, it must divest from fossil fuels. If our open-minded and reputable college cannot divest from the destructive fossil fuel industry, then who will? To regain its integrity, Occidental must divest. In doing so, we will set a moral standard that other institutions will be inspired to live up to.
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    Created by Alex Lukas
  • Divest Pomona College 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 $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.
    522 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Anna Leopold