The first fossil fuel divestment campaign began at Swarthmore College six years ago. Now, the divestment movement is a global powerhouse fighting for climate justice, with over 400 campaigns on U.S. college campuses alone. We, as young people, are showing that we won’t be held hostage by the rogue fossil fuel industry that insists on digging us into a deeper hole.
This spring, students from across the country are taking unprecedented action to demand our colleges and universities stand on the right side of history and choose our futures over their ties to the destructive and outdated fossil fuel industry.
If you’re ready to take bold, direct action on your campus this spring as part of this national wave of actions, sign up here. You’ll be able to receive updates about major actions, as well as get access to organizing resources.
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Spring 2016: Across the United States, thousands of young people are taking unprecedented bold, coordinated action to divest universities from the fossil fuel industry, and reinvest in just solutions to the climate crisis. (Read more ↓)
This year the youth divestment movement is showing what it’s capable of: unprecedented coordination and numbers. Brave, unwavering resolve. Solidarity like never before. And the willingness to dig deep and connect with others’ fights for climate justice.
Young people are more organized than they’ve ever been. In the past six years, the youth divestment movement has grown into a powerhouse with strong leaders, a commitment to building deep alliances, and courage to take the risks needed to win. They’re also smarter and more strategic than ever — this year they have taken their campaigns up a notch by calling out the conflicts of interest of university endowment officials that have personal ties to the fossil fuel industry.
There has never been a better time to divest. Coal, oil and gas companies are in a financial crisis, the planet is overheating, and a global resistance is growing to confront the industry wherever they turn.
30 escalated actions
64 students arrested
2,000 students and faculty
$20 million of university assets committed to divest
Post-Paris, we are still left with the urgent needs to stop the fossil fuel industry from wrecking our communities and the climate, and pave the way for just solutions to the crisis. These actions will shine a light on those needs. Through divestment, we will continue to shift political power away from the fossil fuel industry that has stymied meaningful climate action at every turn.
Climate change is getting worse, and we need to take bolder action to meet the scale of this crisis. By taking powerful action together, we build a powerful movement. We want to help open the door for more and more people willing to increase their own commitment to climate justice, and are ready to take the kind of bold, risky action we need to win.
Why is bold action necessary?
Students, faculty, and staff have been engaged in divestment for well over 3 years across the the U.S., and in 2015, the movement participated in the first wave of escalated action for fossil fuel divestment, with results. 2015 post-escalation saw divestment commitments from Syracuse University, University of Washington, University of Hawaii, University of California, and many other institutions. Students, faculty and alumni have engaged non-confrontationally with administrators, often with frustrating results — committee recommendations ignored or influenced by climate change deniers and the fossil fuel industry itself. Bold, public action is necessary to hold administrators accountable to taking leadership on climate, where institutional means have failed. Bold action empowers students, faculty and alumni to not only win public support, but to build a powerful movement.
Why this spring?
Paris was a watershed moment. World leaders agreed to limit global warming under 2 degrees, but continue to add and expand fossil fuel projects. Now it’s up to people on the ground to close the gap between rhetoric and reality.
Divestment is a powerful signal that the age of fossil fuels is over, but it’s up to us to keep the divestment dominoes falling.
As students, spring is our moment. In the spring of last year, we turned up the heat on fossil fuel divestment. This spring, we’re taking it even further by calling out the conflicts of interest on our school Boards, and taking unprecedented, coordinated national action.
Who is building the framework for these actions?
These actions are connected by a network of divestment leadership coordinated by the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network and 350.org staff through this website. Staff have been training and supporting students more broadly in the movement for many years and have worked to provide resources to students to plan actions independently. These actions are the work of activists on the ground. For more specific information about each action, please contact the people running the campaign via the links on the map above.
What kind of resources are available for these actions?
We are excited to provide organizing resources to everyone taking action through this page — we will keep it updated with news articles, materials, and models for how these actions are unfolding and what resources they used to plan. By signing up on this page, you are automatically added to the mailing list for updates on campaigns and to receive organizing resources. Make sure you sign up! Additionally, we are happy to connect you with someone from the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network or 350.org staff to answer more specific questions. For additional questions, email [email protected].
If I’m not at one of the already listed campuses, how can I get involved?
If your campus is not already listed, you can absolutely plan an action and participate this spring. Sign up your action here after talking with your campaign team. If you sign up on this page, we can share organizing resources with you. For more support, email [email protected].
What kinds of actions will take place?
Students and community members are planning a range of creative actions. Some actions are planning to participate in civil disobedience and working to coordinate training and legal support independently on the ground. Please be in contact with the campaigners planning the action for more details.
Youth > Fossil Fuels actions are organized by youth activists, and supported by the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network and 350.org.