An Open Letter to National Taiwan University
December 18th, 2019
On November 28th, National Taiwan University announced to the National Taiwan University Student Association that the school is making some adjustments to its investment principles in regard to the university’s endowment fund. This includes a full divestment from high polluting and high emission industries by the end of 2020 and no more related future investments. In addition, the school has investigated and confirmed with the student association that it does not invest in fossil fuel industries and will not in the future. Lastly, National Taiwan University will establish an investment guide for its endowment fund, starting with CSR and move on with PRI, ESG principles.
This act made National Taiwan University the first higher education divestment icon in Taiwan and in Asia. National Taiwan University now joins side by side with more than 150 schools in the world as an example for climate actions, by divesting to reduce campus climate impacts. As of today, the world divestment efforts have surpassed 12 trillion USD, and they are across all sectors. Everywhere in the world is avoiding investments in fossil fuels. For this, 350 Taiwan express our greatest support and acknowledgment for National Taiwan University’s action
When climate change becomes a global emergency, schools have the responsibility to lead in our society and face climate change problems. Divestment from fossil fuel is a great way to do so. This action brings immense positive energy to our society. National Taiwan University can showcase the negative impacts of the fossil fuel industry as academia. After the divestment, the school can change the societal view of fossil fuels. Allowing citizens and governments to lose their approval. It can also stir other academia, private, and public sectors to conduct policy change to no longer fund fossil fuels.
Thus, 350 Taiwan would like to call upon National Taiwan Unversity to publicly disclose its decision of divestment as soon as possible, whether it is to set up a press conference or an update on its official website. Going public will inform its 35,000 plus students and staff about this praise-worthy accomplishment. It is also very pleasing to know by its alums from business leaders, politicians, and even its Nobel Laureates Dr. Lee Yuan-Tseh. Making the divestment news public will be applauded by its 600 plus sister schools around the world. They will know that National Taiwan University did not only create a climate curriculum but also accomplish a climate action. In addition, more than 5,000 international students currently at the university will feel proud to know that while they are far from home, they are at a university that takes care of their sustainable future. Such inspiring divestment action needs to be known by more people, National Taiwan University needs to share this publicly.
At the same time, 350 Taiwan urge other schools in Taiwan, schools in Asia to follow suit. Do evaluate your campus’ endowment fund, do stop funding fossil fuels. Let us all guard the future for ourselves and the next generation, let us all take a step forward for this climate crisis!