2. Campus Divestment

Imagine this: you wake up one morning, walk down to the student center or store on campus and see a copy of TIME Magazine. The cover story is all about a new, fossil fuel divestment movement that has swept the nation. It started with just a small group of campuses, but quickly spread like wildfire. Now, dozens of campuses are freezing new investments in fossil fuels and committing to draw down their holdings over the coming years. At dozens more campuses, students are mounting big, creative campaigns to pressure their board of trustees to make the commitment. And across the country alumni, economists, activists, artists, and community members are chipping in to help the cause.

This Moment Could Be Right Around the Corner

Over the last few years, a growing coalition of groups including the Energy Action Coalition, the Responsible Endowments Coalition, and the Sierra Student Coalition have been laying the groundwork for a powerful nationwide divestment campaign. The first target was coal – one of the filthiest forms of fossil fuels and an especially risky investment. Now, these groups are joining with 350.org and others to take this effort to the next level: challenging the entire fossil fuel industry.

We need you to play a crucial role in this fight. If we’re going to be successful, we need to spread this movement to hundreds of colleges and universities across the country. Whether you’re an economist or an artist, there’s a place for you in this campaign.

Our Demand

We want College and University Presidents and Boards (as well as Religious and Pension funds) to:

  1. immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies;
  2. divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.

200 publicly-traded companies hold the vast majority of the world’s proven coal, oil and gas reserves. Those are the companies we’re asking our institutions to divest from. Our demands to these companies are simple, because they reflect the stark truth of climate science:

  • They need immediately to stop exploring for new hydrocarbons.
  • They need to stop lobbying in Washington and state capitols across the country to preserve their special breaks.
  • Most importantly, they need to pledge to keep 80% of their current reserves underground forever.

Campus Toolkit

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