Stanford Commits to Coal Divestment

Fossil Free Stanford Statement On 
Coal Divestment 
May 6, 2014 

Press Contact: 
Michael Peñuelas (fossilfreestanford@gmail.com, 206.218.4345)

Yari Greaney (fossilfreestanford@gmail.com, 530.646.9118) 

Faculty can also be contacted through Michael or Yari     
Originally posted here: http://www.fossilfreestanford.org/official-statement-on-coal-divestment.html 
Picture

Today, the climate movement won a groundbreaking victory. In a striking acknowledgement of the need for a bold and immediate response to climate change, Stanford University is divesting from the coal industry.

The Stanford endowment, valued at $18.7 billion, will now become the largest in a growing group of funds to partially divest from fossil fuels.

In November 2012, Fossil Free Stanford was born. Shiny new clipboards in hand, we petitioned door to door, watching expressions of initial confusion settle one by one into reflections of cautious hope. Our fellow students began to realize that there was finally an effective movement to help tackle climate change.

Today, the orange square, the symbol of our national movement, is recognized in all corners of campus. In classes, dining halls, and residences, our friends and classmates smile and proudly inform us “I voted yes to divest!” (Just weeks ago, 78% of student participants in an undergraduate referendum voted in support of divesting from fossil fuels.) Today, these students had their voices heard and saw their votes lead to bold and meaningful change.

Stanford’s statement announcing the move credits students with providing the impetus for divestment, stating that “Fossil Free Stanford catalyzed an important discussion” and thanking students for their “thoughtful work” on the issue. Stanford’s decision is a clear testament to the power of the student movement for divestment and the broader movement to combat climate change.

This decision is also another powerful illustration that America is waking up to the reality that continued large-scale combustion of coal is incompatible with a sustainable future. Coal is the single largest source of worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Here in the US, particulate pollution from coal-fired power plants causes an estimated 13,000 premature deaths every year.

In communities across America, local communities have stopped more than 150 coal-fired power plants and numerous mountaintop removal mining projects. Their relentless efforts have set the stage for divestment at Stanford and elsewhere. Together, the courageous organizers on the ground and the growing student movement against fossil fuels can guarantee coal’s necessary demise. 

While we celebrate Stanford’s decision to divest, we recognize that the battle to protect our climate is far from over. Fossil Free Stanford, along with over 400 student campaigns across the country, maintains the goal of divesting from all fossil fuels. Stanford’s coal divestment alone will not be enough turn the tide on climate change. We call on university administrators across the nation to follow Stanford’s lead and begin the process of divestment.

This victory marks not the end of our campaign, but a call to action and a demonstration that our generation has the power to shape its own destiny. With millions of lives from California to Bangladesh depending on swift action, we cannot afford to fail.

You can read additional coverage here

Keep in touch

Sign up to receive our updates and get access to all features of this website. Sign in with:

Latest from the blog

Jul 10, 2017
"Historic new research from CDP, voted no. 1 climate change research provider by institutional investors, in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute, today reveals that 71% of all global GHG emissions since 1988 can be traced to just 100 fossil fuel producers. This group is the source of 635 billion tonnes...
Mar 23, 2017
Congratulations to the activists at York University! "The York University Advisory Committee on Responsible Investment (YUACRI) has voted to recommend the University's divestment from arms manufacturers and fossil fuels. YUACRI was established in 2012 to integrate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations into investment management processes and ownership practices...
Mar 15, 2017
"Columbia University, New York, will divest certain coal industry investments in support of addressing climate change, Lee Bollinger, the university president, said in a message posted on the university’s website. University trustees have agreed to divest from companies deriving more than 35% of their revenue from thermal coal production, he...

Sponsors

Partners

Partners

Partners