To: President Teresa Sullivan

University of Virginia: 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 the University of Virginia 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 50 billion dollars in damages.

Experts agree that global warming caused by humans 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 20% of global fossil-fuel reserves without passing the event horizon. Truth told, we will almost certainly pass the point of no return, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't work to avoid it.

As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on University of Virginia 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 University of Virginia 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.

University of Virginia

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Reasons for signing

  • The science is in: CO2 emitted by human activities is driving the recent changes in our climate. If we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, catastrophic consequences for this planet -- the one we live on -- are all but assured. Not only is switching to renewable energy the environmentally responsible and socially just thing to do, it can also be profitable. But the playing field is still too far tilted by corporate cash. We need to start putting our money where our mouth is.
  • Oil companies have had time to morph their business plan, to change to energy providers. They have dragged their feet too long. We need them to take more of a leadership role instead of just milking profits at the expense of our planet. Apparently money is what motivates them, so we need to speak their language. Divesting now and help them change their ways.

Updates

2015-02-17 22:31:54 -0500

50 signatures reached