This open letter was written by alumni supporting Dartmouth’s divestment and cross-posted from the Responsible Endowment Coalition.
Dear President Hanlon, the Board of Trustees & the Advisor Committee on Investor Responsibility,
We, as Alumni for Dartmouth Divestment, are writing to urge you to move forward on divestment of Dartmouth’s portfolio from fossil fuel companies. We understand that current Dartmouth students are working with the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility to complete a report on this issue. We are awaiting your response and action. As concerned alumni we are diverting our Annual Fund donations to the Multi-School Fossil Free Divestment Fund, where they will be held until Dartmouth divests. We add our voices to the students’ in support of divestment.
As you know, fossil fuel divestment has gained extraordinary momentum in recent months, with actions by many colleges and universities, churches and religious organizations, foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and many private individuals. The list grows longer every day. This year, in particular, it is important to act in anticipation of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris beginning on November 30. It’s time for an “all hands on deck” approach to this catastrophic problem.
From a fiduciary point of view, we believe the most prudent course of action is to divest from fossil fuel investments now. UN member nations will inevitably have to decide to control carbon extraction from the earth. This, along with rapid expansion of renewable energy options, will severely affect the capitalization of fossil fuel companies and portfolios dependent on them. Continuing to hold these “stranded assets” will adversely affect the College’s portfolio. We believe divestment is feasible on a reasonable timeline and can be done without adversely affecting the endowment’s financial performance. Several reports from credible financial services firms have shown this to be the case. We encourage you to work with the College’s investment managers and consultants to create a plan for divesting on a timeline that is practical and also commensurate with the urgency of the climate crisis.
As we all join in “Moving Dartmouth Forward,” the college should recognize that investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction create enormous long-term risk both to the planet and to the College’s operations and portfolio. We urge the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility to publish their report and for the President and Trustees to move forward as soon as possible.
Thank you for your consideration.
(Signed by 61 Dartmouth alums — click here to see the full list of signers)