10 signatures reached
To: President Ayers and the Board of Trustees
Divest the University of Richmond from Fossil Fuels
The time is now to confront the pressing issue of climate change.
We call on those responsible for managing University of Richmond's endowment-- including President Ayers, the Board of Trustees, and Spider Management Company LLC-- to: disclose information about our endowment's investments; immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies; and divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds.
We believe such action on behalf of our 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 climate chaos.
The University of Richmond's mission statement proposes that "A Richmond education prepares students to live lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership in a global and pluralistic society." There is overwhelming evidence that action must be taken now to dramatically decrease the world's use of fossil fuels if we are to avoid major climate disasters in the near future. If the University of Richmond is to demonstrate the purposeful, thoughtful, and responsible leadership outlined by its mission statement, it must divest from fossil fuel companies.
Why is this important?
Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and storms which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars.
Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters all over the world. 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.
Humans have reached a peculiar point in history: Science has given us both the tools to peer into our future, and the tools to shape our future. We have the uncommon opportunity of being able to prevent paradigm-shifting climactic change, and are now charged with the difficult and necessary task of courageous decision-making. As a engaged institution of higher education, the University of Richmond serves a crucial role in demonstrating this sort of courageous decision-making to our community and our country.