50 signatures reached
To: The Clare Hall Council and Governing Body
Divest Clare Hall from Fossil Fuels
We, as members of the Clare Hall community, believe it is important to address our College’s role in the complex issue of climate change.
Undoubtedly, the fossil fuel industry is a major polluter and powerful political player blocking some of the societal changes needed to tackle climate change.
As such, we support the proposal by Fossil Free Clare Hall asking the College to divest from fossil fuels by:
1. removing Clare Hall’s endowment from the Cambridge University Endowment Fund (CUEF),
2. committing to not investing in companies listed on the Carbon Underground 200, and
3. implementing an investment strategy that complies with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles.
Why is this important?
We petition Clare Hall to divest because scientific evidence shows that catastrophic environmental breakdowns are imminent if drastic changes are not made very soon. Climate change is a matter of social justice and financial responsibility. Marginalized populations are already and will continue to be disproportionately affected by climate change. Divestment weakens fossil fuel companies’ social legitimacy and sends a message that ‘business-as-usual’ is unacceptable.
We petition Clare Hall to recognize the social and financial value of divested portfolios. Fossil free funds have been shown to perform on par with or better than conventional investments. Managers experienced with ESG investing can help make this a feasible and financially responsible path. We support the proposal for divestment to also include targeted investing in businesses that promote sustainable environmental practices and better energy alternatives to fossil fuels.
We also petition Clare Hall to divest because we believe that it would align with the College’s history of operating on progressive values, and its stated commitment to improving energy conservation and reducing our carbon footprint.
Finally, we petition Clare Hall to divest because it represents an opportunity to join the 988 institutions already committed to divestment globally (combined worth $7.18 trillion), and to show leadership where our university has so far not done so. As more colleges consider taking similar action, we believe that Clare Hall can be a leading, influential voice in the local and international debate on divestment from fossil fuels, as one step in the broader challenge of addressing climate change.
IPCC - 5th Assessment Report, 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2018/oct/08/ipcc-climate-change-report-urgent-action-fossil-fuels-live
Verisk Maplecroft - Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2017 https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/verisk%20index.pdf
Fossil Free Funds - Carbon Underground 200 https://fossilfreefunds.org/carbon-underground-200
How it will be delivered
Fossil Free Clare Hall will deliver this petition to the Governing Body when they meet on 21 November 2018, as a symbol of our community's support for the proposal to divest.