100 signatures reached
To: Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and SUNY Board of Trustees
Because divestment is the most effective way for our campuses to go fossil free and lead the way for sustainable energy across campuses nationwide, we call on the entire network of SUNY universities 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; 2013 was the fourth hottest year in recorded history. There was record-breaking heat, droughts, floods and hurricanes across the globe which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost countries hundreds of billions of dollars. From 2011-2013, disaster relief from extreme weather cost the U.S. $136bn.
Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. A scientific study found that April 2014 was the first month in human history where CO2 in the air rose to an average of over 400 ppm. 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.
The SUNY system is contributing to this destruction by investing in the fossil fuel industry. As the largest comprehensive university system in the U.S., this is immoral and unacceptable. The SUNY mission statement includes that each university “shares the expertise of the state university[...]through a program of public service for the purpose of enhancing the well-being of the people of the state of New York and in protecting our environmental and marine resources,” something that cannot be accomplished while continuing to hold these investments. SUNY should show leadership by investing in progressive companies that will lead us to a clean energy future.