To: The Natural History Museum of Utah and their advisory board
Fossil Free NHMU
Publicly endorse the University of Utah Fossil Free Divestment Campaign which is petitioning the President of the University of Utah, the Board of Trustees and the Utah State Board of Regents to: 1-Immediately freeze any new fossil fuel investments; 2- Divest from direct ownership and any co-mingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities or corporate bonds within 5 years.
Why is this important?
Over 54,000 people have signed on the national campaign asking 5 museums, of which the Utah Natural History Museum (UNMH) is one, to divest from fossil fuels. http://gofossilfree.org/museums/
This moment calls for leaders that are ready to do more than observe and curate history — it calls for leaders who are ready to help make it. We believe museums can be those leaders. The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, The Field Museum in Chicago, The Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburg, The London Museum of Science, and The Australian Academy of Sciences have already taking this important step of divestment.
In addition to fossil fuel divestment growing internationally, www.BreakFree2016.org is a global project that is coordinating a global wave of escalated direct actions to stop some of the largest fossil fuel projects in the world. 2016 could be a turning point in the climate justice movement.
Faculty and students at the University of Utah are ready for this moment and have been campaigning since 2012 to have the University of Utah to divest from fossil fuels: https://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/Fossil_Free_UUtah. In May 2015 the Academic Senate made the recommendation to create a policy that would support fossil fuel divestment and in March 2016 this recommendation was further supported with a timeline for September 2016: http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/uutah/asop/Board.nsf/files/A8JUX87A9B14/$file/Ad%20Hoc%20Re-Investment%20Dialogue%20Committee%20Report%20-%20March%202016.pdf
This timeline will coincide with activists from around the world escalating pressure on global leaders to maintain a 2 degree limit in warming, keep 80% of the Fossil Fuels in the ground and create a just transition to renewables by 2050. We are prepared to celebrate divestment at the U of U or escalate our tactics along with www.breakfree2016.org. If you haven't read this Open Letter to Museums yet, please take a look and consider how urgent it is to create economic decisions that reflect our public sustainability missions: http://thenaturalhistorymuseum.org/open-letter-to-museums-from-scientists/
How it will be delivered
We delivered our petition with well over 54,000 signatures in early November https://www.facebook.com/FFNHMU/videos/1635933759991899/; Since then we have been increasing canvassing efforts and public demonstrations awaiting a decision from the Academic Senate at the University of Utah which could come as early as April 4. We are prepared to celebrate divestment at the U of U or escalate our tactics along with www.breakfree2016.org