Commitments

A growing number of institutions are committing to divest from fossil fuels. This page lists the commitments from colleges and universities, cities, counties, religious institutions, and other institutions. You can click on each name for more information about the type of commitment they’re making.

Colleges and Universities

Eleven colleges and universities have committed to pursue fossil fuel divestment

Committed to fossil fuel divestment in February 2013

College of the Atlantic in Maine committed to fossil fuel divestment after a campaign by students urging the college to live up to its environmental values. The college says about $1 million of its $30 million endowment was invested in fossil fuel companies.

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Committed to fossil fuel divestment in October 2013

This October, The Foothill-De Anza Foundation, which raises and manages funds for the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in California, became the first community college in the country to commit to fossil fuel divestment as a result of the Fossil Free divestment campaign. The Board of Directors of the foundation voted unanimously to divest its $33 million endowment, citing commitments to “greening” the college and a student campaign for divestment.

“Our colleges support environmental stability, so this already is a shared value of our community,” said Foundation President Kathleen Santora. “Credit goes to De Anza students for raising our awareness by identifying ways the foundation can act in a more environmentally responsible manner. We appreciate the opportunity to learn from our students.”

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Committed to fossil fuel divestment in May 2013

Green Mountain College became the second college in Vermont and the fifth in the nation to divest from the fossil fuel industry after a successful student campaign on campus. The school has a $960,000 endowment.

“We see this as another step in an ongoing effort to connect our investment decisions with our ideals,” said Paul Fonteyn, president of Green Mountain College, in a news release. “Investing endowment funds on the basis of social, economic and environmental criteria is one of the ways Green Mountain College expresses its values.”

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Committed to fossil free investment in December 2011

In 1977, Hampshire College became the first school to divest from apartheid South Africa. They are also the first college to have divested from fossil fuels. In December 2011, the Board of Trustees approved a new sustainable investment policy that effectively screens out fossil fuel holdings.

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Fully divested from the top 200 fossil fuel companies as of October 31, 2013.

Following a unanimous vote by Naropa University’s endowment committee, the institution has fully divested from their holdings in companies identified by 350.org as having the highest potential greenhouse gas emissions, based on their carbon reserves. Naropa’s board of trustees concluded that the divestment would not threaten the stability of their stock portfolio, and that continuing to practice shareholder activism involving those companies would not result in significant changes in behavior.

Committed to fossil fuel divestment on December 10th, 2013

The Peralta Colleges Board voted unanimously to immediately cease investments in the 200 largest fossil fuel companies and to fully divest their holdings within five years. Read more about the decision here.

Committed to fossil fuel divestment on April 12th, 2014

Following a multi-year student campaign, Pitzer announced its commitment to divest its $124 million endowment from fossil fuels. But not only that: Pitzer also committed to trimming 25% from the college’s carbon footprint by the end of 2016 and to creating a sustainable-investment fund within its endowment. Read more here.

Committed to fossil fuel divestment in February 2014

Prescott College was founded on core values of environmental responsibility and social justice decades before these were elements of the sustainability movement. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Initiative has roots in these core values, and expands the commitment by shifting endowment funds from the 200 largest fossil fuel corporations over the next 3 years. The college will also work with endowment brokerages to advocate for the creation of new fossil fuel free funds and investment options available for other investors.

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Committed to divest from coal and tar sands and set up a committee to explore full divestment in May 2013

This May, San Francisco State University (SF State) became the first public university and first school on the west coast to commit to divest immediately from coal and tar sands companies and start a formal process to look at fully divesting from the fossil fuel industry.

The SF State University Foundation, which manages $51.2 million endowment for the university, issued the following statement on the decision:

“The SF State University Foundation Finance and Investment Committee voted unanimously at its May 20, 2013 meeting to limit direct investments in fossil fuel companies. The SF State University Foundation Executive Committee also voted unanimously at its May 23, 2013 meeting that the foundation would not directly invest in companies with significant production or use of coal and tar sands and that it would amend its Investment Policy Statement (IPS) to reflect this change.”

In addition, per a request by SF State President Leslie Wong, the Foundation Board will convene a special committee comprised of Foundation directors to review the Foundation’s investment policy, identify all of the Foundation’s fossil fuel investments, and make recommendations for future changes to the Foundation’s investment policy in regards to divestment.

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Committed to fossil fuel divestment in February 2013

In February, 2013, Sterling College became the first college in Vermont and the third in the United States to commit to divest from the 200 top fossil fuel companies.

President Matthew Derr said, “Sterling College is an incubator for those who care about Vermont, care about the natural world in which we all live, and who want to promote healthy and just food systems, and as such, it makes no sense for us to invest in companies that are wreaking havoc on our climate.”

350.org founder Bill McKibben is an honorary alumnus of Sterling College.

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Committed to fossil fuel divestment in November 2012

This November, Unity College in Maine became the first school in the country to commit to fossil fuel divestment as a result of the Fossil Free divestment campaign. Since then, Unity College President Stephen Mulkey has emerged as a leading spokesperson advocating for divestment. Unity has reported that they expect divestment to have a minimal impact on their portfolio’s returns and that they’ve received an increase in donations because of their decision.

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Cities

Committed to fossil free daily operations ($1.4bn) on Dec. 21, 2012
Moving forward on deferred compensation ($700m) and pension ($1.9bn) plansSeattle became the first city in the country to join the fossil fuel divestment campaign when Mayor Mike McGinn appeared on stage at 350.org’s first Do the Math presentation in Seattle and committed to pursue divestment. The city is currently looking into the most responsible way to divest its pension fund from fossil fuels.In a statement about the decision, Mayor McGinn explained, “The City oversees three sets of investments: 1) $1.4 billion in cash balances for daily operations – essentially the City’s checkbook balances; 2) $700 million of our employees’ investments from the City’s deferred compensation plan; and 3) our pension system, with holdings valued at $1.9 billion. The first category is the only one I control directly. City staff report that none of that money is currently invested in fossil fuel companies. I have directed the City’s Finance Director, Glen Lee, that the City will not invest in those cash balances in fossil fuel companies in the future…. I have written to our pension system governing board to request that they refrain from investing in fossil fuel companies in the future, and begin exploring options for moving existing investments from fossil fuel companies. I will work with the City Council, City staff and the pension board on pursuing divestment in that portfolio.”Click here for more information
Board of Supervisors voted to urge retirement board to divest on April 23, 2013
On April 23, the day after Earth Day, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to urge the city’s Retirement Board to divest $583 million of fossil fuel holdings in the city’s $16 billion retirement fund. 350 Bay Area, local 350.org supporters, and other local groups are now working to make sure the Retirement Board follows through on the supervisors’ recommendation and moves towards full divestment.Click here for more information
Committed to pursue divestment on June 4, 2013
In a speech for World Environment Day, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales urged the Oregon State Treasurer, the Local Government Investment Pool and the Oregon Investment Council to divest of all state holdings in fossil fuels.“By acting locally, we can send a message to the world that investment in fossil fuels is a losing proposition, and that loosening our dependence on fossil fuels will increase our quality of life,” said Mayor Hales.The victory came after a divestment campaign led by 350 PDX, who will continue to push the city and state to follow through on their commitment.
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Committed to pursue divestment on April 25, 2013
Eugene, Oregon was one of ten cities that joined Seattle and San Francisco on April 25, 2013 to launch the Fossil Free city divestment campaign. Click here for more information.
Committed to pursue divestment on April 25, 2013
Mayor Tom Bates and the Berkeley City Council committed to pursue fossil fuel divestment as part of the April 25, 2013 launch of the Fossil Free divestment campaign. Berkeley’s pension plan is managed by CalPERS, California’s state pension fund, so the Mayor and City are now calling on CalPERS to move towards divestment.
“We don’t invest in guns or tobacco, and it turns out we don’t invest in oil, either,” said Mayor Bates at the time of the decision. “But the real issue isn’t us — it’s CalPERS. They are major players.”
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Committed to pursue divestment on April 25, 2013
Richmond, CA, home to the state’s largest stationary source of carbon dioxide emissions, a Chevron oil refinery, joined with nine other cities across the country on April 25 to launch the Fossil Free city divestment campaign. Richmond Mayor Gail McLaughlin and the Richmond City Council are calling on CalPERS, the state pension fund that includes Richmond public employees, to divest from fossil fuels.”Richmond is home to the 2nd largest oil refinery and largest point source of greenhouse gas emissions in California,” said Mayor McLaughlin. “I am proud to join with other cities in this divestment campaign, as we divest from an industry that is wreaking havoc on our community and planet, and reinvest in a clean energy economy with new jobs for our residents.”
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Fully divested city from fossil fuels in February, 2013
Santa Monica, CA started pursuing fossil fuel divestment in November 2012 after hearing about the campaign during 350.org’s Do the Math tour. By February, the city had established that the only major city fund invested in the fossil fuel industry was the Woodlawn Cemetery and Mausoleum endowment fund. So the city moved forward with divesting nearly $1 million of fossil fuel stock from that portfolio.Click here for more information
Committed to pursue divestment on April 25, 2013
Boulder, Colorado was one of ten cities that joined Seattle and San Francisco on April 25, 2013 to launch the Fossil Free city divestment campaign.
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Committed to pursue divestment on April 25, 2013
Santa Fe, NM was one of ten cities that joined Seattle and San Francisco on April 25, 2013 to launch the Fossil Free city divestment campaign.
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Committed to pursue divestment on April 25, 2013
Mayor Paul Soglin committed Madison, WI to pursue fossil fuel divestment as part of the Fossil Free city divestment campaign launch on April 25, 2013.Soglin told the Wisconsin State Journal at the time that, “Madison doesn’t have any funds invested in fossil fuel companies but will introduce a resolution encouraging the Madison School District, Dane County, UW-Madison, the state and other local governments to divest their holdings in the industry.”Click here for more information
Committed to pursue divestment on April 25, 2013
Bayfield, WI Mayor Larry MacDonald committed his city to pursue fossil fuel divestment as part of the Fossil Free city divestment campaign launch on April 25, 2013.“Bayfield is very small, we don’t even have an investment portfolio, but many of our employees are in the (Wisconsin Retirement System) which I plan to write a letter to asking them to divest,” MacDonald told the Ashland Daily Press, a local Wisconsin paper at the time.Click here for more information
Committed to pursue divestment on April 25, 2013
State College, PA Mayor Elizabeth Goreham committed her city to pursue fossil fuel divestment as part of the Fossil Free city divestment campaign launch on April 25, 2013.Click here for more information
Committed to pursue divestment on April 22, 2013
On Earth Day 2013, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, one of the youngest Mayors and youngest African-American elected officials in the country, responded to a campaign led by Ithaca high school students and committed to pursue fossil fuel divestment and urge the New York state pension funds to divest as well.“The City of Ithaca does not invest in fossil fuels and I can certainly commit, as long as I am Mayor, to not investing City funds in fossil fuels,” said Mayor Myrick at the time.Gabriel Shapiro, a Junior at Lehman Alternative Community School, said in a press statement put out by high school students about the victory, “We’re proud that our Mayor is not only willing to listen to young people’s demands, but to actively support our work. Our generation will disproportionately experience the impacts of climate change–as systematically marginalized communities already are–and we’re excited that Mayor Myrick is willing to give us a seat at the table around decisions that affect us.”Click here for more information
Committed to pursue fossil fuel divestment in May 2013
95-year old Bob Holt and his wife Joan decided that they needed to do something about the climate crisis after reading Bill McKibben’s article about “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.” They wrote a resolution to urge Massachusetts to divest from the fossil fuel industry and got their town of Truro and nearby Provincetown to support the measure in May.Click here for more information
Committed to pursue fossil fuel divestment in May 2013
95-year old Bob Holt and his wife Joan decided that they needed to do something about the climate crisis after reading Bill McKibben’s article about “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.” They wrote a resolution to urge Massachusetts to divest from the fossil fuel industry and got their town of Truro and nearby Provincetown to support the measure in May.
Click here for more information
Committed to pursue fossil fuel divestment in June 2013
On June 20, the Providence City Council approved a measure advising city’s Board of Investment Commissioners to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies. Providence is the first capital city in the nation to make a divestment commitment. According to ecoRI, “Council member Samuel Zurier, who voted in favor of the resolution, said he plans to introduce a comprehensive investment policy to guide the investment commissioners on controversial investments.” The campaign for divestment in Providence was led by Fossil Free RI, a group that includes students from Brown and RISD and members of the local Sierra Club chapter.
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City Council voted in favor of divestment in July 2013
Inspired by the student-led Harvard University divestment campaign and at the urging of local climate activists from 350 Massachusetts, the Cambridge City Council voted unanimously to recommend the city’s retirement board pull its investments out of the fossil fuel industry.
City Council voted to divest on September 5th, 2013
Climate activists from 350 Massachusetts successfully spearheaded a resolution to divest the city from fossil fuels.
City Council voted to divest on October 21, 2013
The Ann Arbor City Council voted 9-2 to divest from any of the top 100 coal companies or top 100 oil or gas companies.
Committed to divest on October 29th, 2013
The Dutch town of Boxtel became the first European municipality to divest on October 29th. Representatives from Boxtel announced their decision from the stage at the Amsterdam stop of the Fossil Free Europe Tour.
Town Meeting voted to divest in November, 2013
The Amherst Town Meeting approved a resolution calling for divestment from fossil fuels, and urged the Hampshire County Retirement Board to divest as well.

Counties

San Francisco, CA
Dane County, WI

Religious Institutions

United Church of Christ – National
Massachusetts United Church of Christ
Minnesota United Church of Christ
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oregon, OR
First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, UT
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Cambridge, MA
Portsmouth South Church Unitarian
First Unitarian Church of Pittsfield, ME
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, WI
First Presbyterian Palo Alto, CA
Uniting Church, New South Wales & ACT, Australia
Dover Friends Meeting, Dover, NH
Melbourne Unitarian Church, Australia
Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, MA
Anglican Diocese of Wellington, New Zealand
Anglican Diocese of Auckland, New Zealand
Anglican Diocese of Dunedin, New Zealand
Anglican Diocese of Waiapu, New Zealand
Anglican Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki, New Zealand
Society for Community Work
Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, MA
Maine Council of Churches, ME
Trinity St. Paul’s United Church, Toronto, Canada
Quakers in Britain
Diakonia, Sweden
Colorado Ratnashri Sangha

Foundations

Divest-Invest Philanthropic Group
Sierra Club Foundation
Wallace Global Fund
Jubitz Family Foundation
The Educational Foundation of America
Park Foundation
The Russell Family Foundation
Compton Foundation
KL Felicitas Foundation
The Chorus Foundation
Singing Field Foundation
Nia Community Foundation
The John Merck Fund
The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
Solidago Foundation
Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
Granary Foundation
The Schmidt Family Foundation
Ben & Jerry’s Foundation

Other Institutions

Conservation Breeding Specialist Group
Santa Fe Art Institute
New Progressive Alliance
Council of Canadians
Santa Clara Valley Water District
Students’ Society of McGill University (pdf)