50 signatures reached
To: Temple's Board of Trustees, PNC's Board of Directors
Temple University + PNC Bank: Go Fossil Free!
--Establish an Investment Advisory Committee to determine the specifics of Temple University's exposure to Fossil Fuel Investments
--Immediately freeze any new university endowment investments in fossil fuels
--Divest Temple University from direct ownership and commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years
--Immediately perform due diligence processes for PNC transactions with companies that engage in MTR (including reviews of legal compliance, potential legal liabilities, environmental risks, environmental performance, and community engagement)
--Completely exclude the MTR sector from PNC bank operations, including lending, investment banking, and asset management within 5 years
Why is this important?
If society-at-large continues to invest in Fossil Fuels at the same levels it is today, we are on a trajectory for total ecological devastation way before 2100. It is unjust to fund an academic institution with dollars earned from industries that ultimately guarantee the ecological demise of the world within which your graduates find themselves. If we neglect to acknowledge the political, social, and environmental implications of continued investments in Fossil Fuels, we are in denial of scientific facts and natural truths.
The world has less than 565 gigatons of carbon equivalents left to burn before it has deposited enough pollution into the atmosphere to raise global temperatures a full 2 degrees Celsius. As the only internationally agreed upon upper limit of climate degradation, we must conserve the fossil fuels we have and not invest in any further explorations to meet this limit. At present, the total net value of all fossil fuel companies includes over 2700 gigatons of carbon equivalents -- 5 times the amount that we can burn to secure a reasonable climate future -- which makes these investments riskier than anything else, ever.
This is true not only in a financial sense, but in an environmental and social sense as well. The aggressive methods of fossil fuel extraction that dominate the industry today--visible in the Canadian Tar Sands, Arctic Sea Waters, Marcellus Shale Fracking, and Appalachian Mountain Top Removal-- are devastating for communities on all fronts. Long term health implications-- doubling rates of cancer, birth defects, and cardiovascular disease, in addition to irreversibly polluted waterways and aquifers-- are not worth the short-term jobs or investment profit. The time to act is now.
Although divestment may not bankrupt this industry, it will chip away at the political strength of Fossil Fuel companies. Once their stranglehold on policy is dismantled, the political will to fund the explosion of alternative energy technologies that American society so desperately needs can burst forth. By halting investments in Mountain Top Removal, PNC would signal the end of the era of the most ecologically-devastating energy-extraction technologies yet, and may increase investments in a safer, cleaner, renewable energy future. By hiring Fund Managers to determine Temple's exposure to Fossil Fuel Investments, our Board is making a serious investment in our collective future and fulfilling a Mission Statement promise to "broaden knowledge through research for the benefit of society".
Membership in APUPCC and INCR are a great starting points, but fall short of the Climate Action Plan promise to create an "interdisciplinary Center for Urban Ecology, which will connect faculty research activities in an integrative manner through interdisciplinary efforts drawing from departments and colleges to create a university-wide sustainability research enterprise."
If Temple truly seeks to be a "living laboratory for sustainability" (Climate Action Plan 2010) and honestly "strives to be a national center of excellence in teaching and research with an international presence" (Mission Statement 2004) then Divesting from Fossil Fuels is an extraordinary way for Temple's Board to Be the Change that they themselves desire. Temple's complacent support of this complicit industry may only be an issue locally, but the devastating impacts of the carbon emissions funded by this institution will be felt around the world.
It is only in the best interest of every single living thing on this planet that Temple demonstrates leadership and service to Philadelphia's long-held tradition of Liberty.
How it will be delivered
By the end of Spring 2014, we will deliver the signatures to the Board of Trustees at Temple and e-mail them to the Board at PNC.