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To: Board of Curators

Divest University of Missouri From Fossil Fuels

The University of Missouri should:

1) Immediately and permanently freeze any new investments in the 200 largest publicly traded fossil fuel companies, fully divest from any direct ownership of the 200 largest publicly traded fossil fuel companies and any commingled funds that include public equities and corporate bonds within five years (2028)

2) Commit to transparency about the University’s endowment investments

3) Create a Responsible Investments Committee that includes undergraduate and graduate students and faculty for the purpose of guiding the University’s future investments

Why is this important?

Climate change poses an unparalleled threat to our ecosystems, thousands of plant and animal species, and the wellbeing of many people across the globe. Fossil fuels are the primary cause of this threat. Divestment addresses the risks of climate change and balances these biased structures by placing additional social and fiscal pressures on polluters that are otherwise absent. By continuing to invest in fossil fuel companies, the University of Missouri is contributing to the ongoing damage to our planet. This contradicts and counteracts the other initiatives taken by the University to be “green” such as recycling, a growing use of renewable energy sources, and courses on sustainability.

Climate change is accelerating, and we are witnessing its ever-increasing effects. We have been experiencing record breaking heat, hurricanes, droughts, and other extreme weather events, impacting the majority of the population. According to the World Meteorological Organization, “The global mean temperature in 2022 is currently estimated to be about 1.15 [1.02 to 1.28] °C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average” (Eight Warmest Years 2022). To reduce the risks of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) advises that warming stay below 1.5°C. Ninety percent of coal and sixty percent of oil and fossil methane gas must remain in reserves to avoid catastrophic events from climate change (Meredith, 2021). Fossil fuel companies make a profit by extracting coal, gas, and oil. They have no intention of heeding this warning, making the investment in fossil fuel companies unethical.

By remaining invested in fossil fuel companies, the University of Missouri is making a political statement: the University endorses the destruction of our planet for profit. We hope that you will join us in signing the petition to accelerate University of Missouri’s efforts to stand on the right side of this historic environmental, socioeconomic, and racial justice issue.

References:

Eight Warmest Years on Record Witness Upsurge in Climate Change Impacts. World Meteorological Organization. (2022, November 7). Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/eight-warmest-years-record-witness-upsurge-climate-change-impacts#:~:text=The%20global%20mean%20temperature%20in,be%20fifth%20or%20sixth%20warmest.

Meredith, S. (2021, September 16). Majority of Fossil Fuels Need to Stay Underground to Avert Climate Disaster, Scientists say. CNBC. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/09/climate-majority-of-fossil-fuels-need-to-stay-underground-study-says.html#:~:text=The%20peer%2Dreviewed%20study%2C%20published,Celsius%20above%20pre%2Dindustrial%20levels.

Columbia, MO 65211, USA

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Updates

2023-01-19 13:39:30 -0500

25 signatures reached

2023-01-17 23:39:18 -0500

10 signatures reached