To: The University of King's College President George Cooper and the Board of Governors

Divest the University of King's College Endowment from Fossil Fuels

Divest the University of King's College Endowment from Fossil Fuels

1. Disclose holdings in the fossil fuel industry.
2. Freeze any new investments in fossil fuel companies.
3. Divest from direct ownership and from any comingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds.

As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on the University of King's College to freeze any new investments in fossil-fuel companies immediately, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies hold the vast majority of the world’s proven coal, oil and gas reserves. This is the initial list of companies from which we're asking King's to divest.

A meaningful first step in the divestment process is disclosure. It’s time for our administrators and board members to champion transparency at King’s. Students are stakeholders in their universities; we ought to be given the opportunity to bear witness to the decision-making process around institutional investments, and ultimately to bear some responsibility for it as well.

Why is this important?

Institutions of higher learning must challenge systems that put ecosystems at risk and endanger the futures of younger generations.

The widespread scientific consensus is that the global temperature cannot rise more than 2 more degrees Celsius without utter catastrophe. This has lead to a global carbon budget of 565 gigatons of CO2 that we can safely emit into the atmosphere before we approach that temperature mark. The global fossil fuel industry is planning to burn more than five times that, and it keeps investing in further exploration. Here in Canada, there are plans to expand the tar sands to more than three times the size that the International Energy Agency considers the limit for a +2C world. In the words of Cameron Fenton of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, “the problem with the fossil fuel industry is not simply a flaw in their business plan. The flaw is their business plan.”

At King’s, our students, faculty, and staff are rightly celebrated for their sustainability work, but as we’ve tried to make our campus more green over the past decades, CO2 emissions have risen by 40 per cent. We can’t take care of the carbon footprint of our campus while ignoring the footprint of our investments. Divestment helps us to revoke the social license given to destructive industry, and it builds a global movement to change the way energy is sought and produced.

To divest is not to risk the profitability or stability of our portfolio: many divested portfolios are currently outperforming their fossil-fuel weighted counterparts, and schools like Unity College (the first campus in the U.S. to announce full divestment) have noticed a marked increase in donations since they made the commitment to divest.

It's time to take responsibility for our shared future.

How it will be delivered

We will email signatures.

Halifax, NS, Canada

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • Climate change is a crisis that is affecting every single living thing on this planet and what message is King's giving its students if the school still invests in the dirty fossil fuels that are contributing to the immese emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere? That is is okay to do so? It is a place of learning, and that includes learning how to be environmentally friendly.

Updates

2016-06-24 17:07:23 -0400

10 signatures reached