We Did the Math. Solution = Divestment
Do the Math Tour wraps up, but work is just beginning
350.org has toured around the country spreading the message about terrifying math associated with fossil fuel reserves ready and waiting to be extracted and billowed into our fragile atmosphere. Climate change has an enemy, and that enemy is the fossil fuel industry. This enemy goes by several names, including but not limited to: Exxon-Mobil, Shell, BP, Lukoil Holdings, Gazprom OAO, Chevron Corp, Peabody Coal, Severstal JSC, Anglo American PLC, BHP Billiton, Shanxi Coking Co, and Exxaro Resources.
350.org is putting its foot down on fossil fuels, and the best place to hit them where it hurts is at the bank. The “Divestment Campaign” is calling on universities to lead the way by withdrawing any endowment funds invested in fossil fuel companies. Ann Arbor 350, along with several other supporting organizations listed below, is running with this campaign and calling on the University of Michigan to align itself with its very own goals and message of sustainability. We ask UM to:
- Halt any new investments into fossil fuel company stocks or funds that include them.
- Divest any endowment funds out of fossil fuel stocks and funds within 5 years, or as soon as humanly possible.
UM Investment History & Policy
UM has a history of divestment out of morally objectionable sectors, and President Mary Sue Coleman has emphasized UM’s role and goals for sustainability. But, with the 7th largest university endowment in America of $7.8 Billion, UM is still investing around 9% of its funds in fossil fuel companies.
In 1978, UM divested out of South African companies to protest apartheid.
In 2000, UM divested out of tobacco companies.
Here’s a story about UM’s Investment portfolio handler.
“With the pressing challenge of climate change, we are elevating our emphasis on sustainability at Michigan. From teaching and research, to hands-on engagement, we are going to leverage our many strengths so we can make significant contributions to solving a genuinely complicated problem.” -President Mary Sue Coleman
From Go Fossil Free: “As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on the University of Michigan to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action on behalf of the University of Michigan will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the well-being of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.”
- Unity College in Maine the first to divest from FF.
- Harvard students vote 72% for divestment from 200 biggest fossil fuel companies. http://www.350.org/en/about/blogs/72-harvard-students-vote-divest-fossil-fuels
- Brown University: Brown University Divest Campaign letter to President. http://browndivestcoal.org/letter-president-paxson/
350.org – Do the Math tour
Better Future Project - Divest for Our Future
Students for a Just and Stable Future (mainly Massachusetts)- BU, Brandeis, Brown, Harvard, Five Colleges Against Coal, MIT, Tufts, U of New Hampshire, U of Wisconsin, Wellesley College, Worcester Polytech