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 (380)

  • Duke 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 Duke 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 Duke 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.
    319 of 400 Signatures
    Created by TJ Lowdermilk
  • Divest NEC 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.
    312 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Stephanie Goulet
  • Syracuse 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 Syracuse 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 Syracuse 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.
    294 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Chiara Klein
  • Landmark 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.
    293 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Colette Millard
  • Fossil Free Chester
    Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing effects of a warming planet more and more consistently. In this last year alone countries have experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, floods and hurricanes, which have impacted millions of people. Scientific experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. 200 publicly-traded companies hold 95% of the world’s proven coal, oil and gas reserves. Together they hold five times more carbon in their fossil fuel reserves than we can safely afford to burn if we are to avoid runaway climate change. From Canada’s dirty tar sands to Arctic drilling and even hydraulic fracking for shale gas here in the UK - the fossil fuel industry is causing enormous environmental and human devastation. Withdrawing our institution’s financial and moral backing for this climate-wrecking industry is crucial to tackling climate change. We believe that if it’s wrong for companies to destroy our climate for profit, then it’s wrong for the University of Chester to profit from their businesses. Our University should be a role model in society, acting responsibly and helping create a safe future that is better for everyone. As a University guided by Christian values, we also have a duty to protect the poorest and most vulnerable communities in our society, who are disproportionately affected by the negative consequences of climate change. All investments make statements about our desired future. We want the University of Chester to make a clear and unequivocal statement in support of the environment by divesting from the fossil fuel industry. We believe such action 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. Please sign our petition to show your support for a fossil free University of Chester!
    289 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Matthew Fowle
  • Divest Willamette 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 $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.
    284 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Linda Wallmark
  • Hamilton 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 Hamilton 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 Hamilton 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.
    281 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Christine Earl
  • Lakehead 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 Lakehead 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 Lakehead 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.
    264 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Elysia Petrone
  • Divest Antioch University from Fossil Fuels
    Climate change is an environmental and human rights crisis that demands bold action. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently. The effects of climate change disproportionately affect lower income and marginalized communities, often exacerbating already existing social injustices. Almost every government in the world has agreed through the 2009 Copenhagen Accord that any warming above a 2°C (3.6°F) rise would be unsafe, and that humans can only pour about 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to maintain this. Based on current emissions, we will emit those 565 gigatons in a little over 15 years. Fossil-fuel companies possess proven fossil fuel reserves that would release approximately 2,795 gigatons of CO2 if they are burned, which is five times the "safe" amount. Warming in excess of the "safe" amount will leave us a planet inconsistent with that on which human civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted. Fossil fuel companies not only plan on burning all of their reserves, but spend millions of dollars per day exploring for more fossil fuels. Their business model is incompatible with a liveable planet. Knowingly profiting from the creation and exacerbation of climate change runs counter to both AU's mission of advancing social, economic, and environmental justice and to the values of our learning community. Our investment choices all have real-world social, economic, and environmental justice consequences. Antioch University has an opportunity now to be a leader in shifting its endowment resources from fossil fuels to investments in an array of robust alternatives that advance our institutional mission, such as, community development, clean and renewable energy sources, and energy efficiency and conservation, among other public goods. It is time for Antioch University to invest in communities and the future, not climate change. see https://drive.google.com/a/antioch.edu/file/d/0BzvD7pr40Gt1RWdzVTJRYlBhVlk/view?usp=sharing for a full brief with citations on why AU should divest from fossil fuels.
    259 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Josh Lipkowitz
  • New York 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 NYU 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 NYU 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.
    258 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Sophie Lasoff