To: Rutgers University Board of Governors:
Because it is unconscionable to pay for our education with investments that will condemn the planet to climate disaster, we call on the Board of Governors to consider companies on the attached list of fossil-fuel companies as "Impermissible Investments" as defined in Rutgers Policy 40.2.14 Section II.H.
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. Just this past fall, Hurricane Sandy alone caused the state of New Jersey $36.9 billion in damages according to Governor Christie. Experts, including some of our very own faculty here at Rutgers, agree that global warming caused by burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. 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 Rutgers 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. We believe such action on behalf of Rutgers 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. Fundamentally, Rutgers University's mission as a public institution entails a broad commitment to the people of the state of New Jersey. As the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy make clear, that mission is inconsistent with continuing to profit off an industry whose business model is driving the destabilization of our planet.