To: President Hennessy
Stanford University: 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 Stanford University 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 at an alarming rate. In the past year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat waves, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Experts here at Stanford and around the world agree that our disruption of the climate system is accelerating and will continue to intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we must keep fossil fuels in the ground to avoid further global warming. Burning even half of our existing reserves would lead to catastrophic and irreversible damage to the world’s ecosystems.
As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on Stanford to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership of fossil fuel companies and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action 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 a future that is not defined by climate chaos.
Leland and Jane Stanford founded this university to "promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Divestment is not only within our means, it is required by our founding principles. For the good of our students and our nation, and to preserve the quality of life for this and future generations worldwide, we call upon you to join the growing movement of schools around the country by moving Stanford’s endowment beyond fossil fuels. Make Stanford a leader in environmentally responsible investment.