Divest Fossil Fuels

It's wrong to wreck the planet and it's even worse to profit from that wreckage.  The fossil fuel divestment movement is calling on mission-driven institutions to divest from the dirty, dangerous fossil fuel companies that have caused climate catastrophe in their ruthless pursuit of profit. We hold our universities to a higher standard and are demanding they divest from this human rights violating rogue industry.

The fossil fuel divestment movement has spread like wildfire to over 300 campuses and even cities, faith-based institutions, foundations, and pension funds. Our goal is to diminish the influence and power of the fossil fuel industry in the market, our political system, and in the social conscience overall. It's time for our universities to invest in accordance to their mission and in a safe, clean future for current students and future generations.  Five schools have already divested - is yours next?

Recent Posts

Dominoes Fall as #Divestment Movement Celebrates Victories Nationwide
Posted on April 15
A Fresh Boost of Energy: Reportback from the Fossil Fuel Divestment Convergence
Posted on April 15
Why Wash U Students Walked Out of a Meeting with Their Chancellor
Posted on April 14
Why We’re Sitting In at WashU (and We’re Not Leaving)
Posted on April 8
Divestment and Reinvestment: A Big Win Is On The Horizon In St. Louis
Posted on January 27
One “No” Won’t Stop Bobcats from Fighting for Climate Action
Posted on January 22

Featured Posts

438 By Julia Ho, Emily Alves, Megan Odenthal, Jamal Sadrud-Din, and Georgia McCandlish

At 11am on Saturday morning, 5 student representatives from the sit-in against Peabody entered a conference room in Brookings Hall to meet with Chancellor Wrighton. Forty-five minutes later, we emerged from the meeting with an increased sense of resolve and passion to a crowd of 50 supporters.

The meeting, which occurred on Day 5 of the sit-in, came just a day after ‘Students Against Peabody’ publicly revealed their demands. In the meeting with Chancellor Wrighton, we articulated our demands: 1. Remove CEO Greg Boyce and Peabody from the Board of Trustees 2. The Chancellor must attend community-organized tours of Peabody extraction zones and issue a public statement about his experiences 3. Increased student voice on the board of trustees.

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430 I’ve learned many things in my four years at Washington University in St. Louis--not all of them in the classroom. For example, before I became a student at Wash U, I had never heard of Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal corporation.

In St. Louis, Peabody ingratiates itself to the local community by posing as a benefactor of the arts, charitable corporate ‘citizen,’ and hero tackling “energy poverty.” It all sounds pretty good until you realize that Peabody Energy is the world’s largest private sector coal corporation whose business model propagates climate change and destroys communities. Peabody’s list of crimes is a veritable laundry list of social and environmental injustices: the destruction of mountains in West Virginia, the forced relocation of Navajo and Hopi Indian tribes in Black Mesa, Arizona, being a major supporter of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which have been strong advocates of controversial legislation like “Stand Your Ground” laws, the destruction of Rocky Branch, Illinois through aggressive mining and logging, and the distortion of democracy here in St. Louis by striking down a city-wide ballot initiative.

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In just three months, St. Louis, the hometown of five coal companies could also be home to the divestment movement’s next big victory. St. Louis is also my hometown, and for over a year now, I’ve been working on the citywide divestment campaign, called Take Back St. Louis. The Take Back St. Louis initiative will change the city charter to end incentives to fossil fuel companies and instead invest money in and open city-owned land for renewable energy and sustainability initiatives. 

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When I started at the University of Maryland this past semester I joined the campaign to divest my university from fossil fuels as well. I am part of the fossil fuel divestment movement because divestment is an important tactic to make the fossil fuel industry’s public reputation as toxic as their business practices. Once doing business with the fossil fuel industry is seen as morally unconscionable it’s unlikely the industry will be able to continue buying off enough public officials to keep itself in existence.

Many of us have found out through divestment campaigns just how engrained the fossil fuel industry is on our campuses. Despite overwhelming support among students, university presidents and administrations have resisted our demands, caving to the power of fossil fuels.

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