50 signatures reached
To: Susquehanna University Board of Trustees - John R. Strangfeld, Chair & Signe S. Gates, Vice Chair
Divest Susquehanna University from Fossil Fuels
We call on Susquehanna University to:
1) Immediately freeze all new Susquehanna University endowment investments on Carbon Underground Top 200's list of the top 100 coal companies and top 100 oil and natural gas companies according to the size of their fossil fuel reserves.
2) Divest the endowment’s direct holding in the Top 200 within 3 years.
3) Divest and screen the Susquehanna University endowment's direct holdings and commingled funds from the entire fossil fuel industry within 6 years.
4) Institutionalize a collaborative process between students, faculty, the administration, and the board of trustees to address future divestment proposals and work to make sure the endowment is invested in a socially and economically responsible manner.
Why is this important?
We are starting this campaign because the disastrous impacts of climate change are immediate, urgent, and will increase in severity if we don’t act now. Not only is there a consensus among scientists about the impacts of climate change, but the observable impacts are innumerable: record temperatures, extreme weather events, desertification, displacement of communities, and countless others. Natural disasters, which are intensified under climate change, already displace three times as many people as war. If the world fails to tackle climate change, more than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2% of GDP by 2030.
The university's strategic plan "Susquehanna 2020: Thriving at the Intersections of Mission and Market" was endorsed by the Board of Trustees last year. On page three of the plan it says that one of our "guiding principles" is a commitment to environmental sustainability and Initiative 7 of the plan states that our goal is to "pursue sustainability as the heart of learning to live in our diverse, dynamic, and interdependent world" and "to maximize energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy, and waster reduction across University systems."
Therefore, we call on Susquehanna University to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within three years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds within six years.
The university has already made towards leadership in sustainability. We feel strongly that as long as we continue to support the fossil fuel industry in such a direct manner these actions lose their weight and the university will lose credibility as a forward-thinking institution that actively demonstrates the ethics and values that it teaches. We believe such action on behalf of Susquehanna University 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 the inherent injustices that come with an industry that has been scientifically proven to create issues of health, societal injustice, and loss of biodiversity on a global scale.
Join us in asking the Board of Trustees to vote to divest our endowment from fossil fuels.