Over 50 events are planned on college campuses across the country today to highlight the growing fossil fuel divestment movement that has spread to more than 300 colleges and universities over the last semester.
One of the day’s largest events will take place at San Francisco City Hall, where students from across the city will rally with 350.org founder Bill McKibben and city supervisors who recently voted unanimously to push the city’s pension fund to divest $583 million from the fossil fuel industry. San Francisco was inspired to work towards divestment because of the student movement — now, they’re helping students push their universities to divest!
Other events include students at Colorado College camping out on campus to call for divestment, students at Northern Arizona University dropping a big banner over a campus building, students at Cornell University hosting a die-in to symbolize the human cost of climate change, and students at Wellesley College meeting with their boards of trustees to push for divestment.
Based on the anti-apartheid divestment campaigns of the 1980s, the current fossil fuel divestment effort has spread to over 300 colleges and universities in the last six months. Four colleges, Sterling, Unity, Hampshire, and College of the Atlantic have committed to divest their endowments. Students have met with their boards of trustees to push for divestment on over 50 campuses and passed student body resolutions supporting the move on more than 30 campuses. More board meetings are scheduled for the coming weeks.
The action on campus has sparked some incredible progress off-campus, as well. Last week, 9 mayors across the country joined San Francisco and Seattle to announce that they would be pursuing fossil fuel divestment. The cities include: Eugene, OR, Berkeley, CA, Richmond, CA, Boulder, CO, Santa Fe, NM, Bayfield, WI, Madison, WI, Ithaca, NY, and State College, PA. There is still much more work to do: each of these cities will need to follow through with their commitment to keep their city funds out of fossil fuels and push their state pension funds to fully divest, but these Mayoral commitments are a great start, it shows that the divestment campaign is beginning to gain the political support we need to make a real impact.
We’ll be sharing photos and updates from the #FossilFree Day of Action throughout the day today. Make sure to follow the hashtag on Twitter for breaking news from around the country.