To: President Le Roy
Calvin College: Go Fossil Free!
Because it is unconscionable to pay for our education with investments that will condemn the planet to climate disaster, we call on Calvin 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.
Why is this important?
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 Calvin 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 Calvin 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.
As Stewards of God’s creation it’s paramount that we lead the way in taking action against this irreconcilable damage that is threatening our planet. Calvin has in the past invested in funds of funds and been separated by two layers of management from the stocks we buy. Our current budget shortfall has brought into focus our investment procedures and it is important for us to take this opportunity to hold ourselves responsible to God’s green earth. We should make sure that we are not just looking to fill this budget deficit in the most efficient way financially but in a way that holds us to our responsibility as stewards of God’s world.