50 signatures reached
To: President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D; Board of Trustees
Villanova University: Go Fossil Free!
Recognizing our moral responsibilities as a community guided by Catholic Social Teaching, we respectfully ask that Villanova University stand on the side of inter-generational justice by paying for our education with investments that will help heal the planet and prevent climate disaster. It is our belief that the university should avoid any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and if the university has any direct ownership, or any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds, we recommend taking the path of bold and courageous leadership by divesting within the next five years.
Why is this important?
Climate change is accelerating. Future generations will view the decisions made in the early part of the 21st century by governments, top policymakers, business leaders, experts, advocates, and concerned citizens as pivotal ones for the fate of human civilization and inter-generational justice.
We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet. 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. Furthermore, climate change disproportionately impacts poor and vulnerable populations and their home countries--those with the least amount of culpability for the reality of climate change.
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 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 Villanova University to show bold leadership and fight for inter-generational justice. We believe that this would be a sound decision for the university's financial portfolio and for the well-being of its current and future graduating classes.