To: President Maeda:

Rhode Island School of Design: Go Fossil Free!

Because it is unconscionable to pay for our education with investments that will condemn the planet to climate disaster, we call on Rhode Island School of Design to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds.

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 hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The international Copenhagen Accord says that we must stay under a temperature rise of 2 degrees in order to avoid complete global calamity. Right now we are at a 0.8 degree rise and on schedule to release 5 times the amount of CO2 that would keep us under 2 degrees. 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. As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on Rhode Island School of Design to be a leader in sustainability and immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to 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 Rhode Island School of Design will not only be a sound decision for our institution's financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.

Rhode Island School of Design

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • Future generations will need a habitable place to live
  • ‘Earth doesn’t belong to us; we belong to Earth’ -Chief Seattle
  • For the sake of our planet and future generations, we must do what we can now to respond to global climate change of our own making. Oil stock divestiture is a gesture, but a very important one. Profiting from the rape of the planet is no longer an option.