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Stop investing in the coal industry

This petition had 177 supporters


Coal companies kill people. The American Lung Association reported in 2012 that pollution from coal kills 13,000 Americans, particularly people of color, each year due to mercury poisoning and airborne illnesses. In 2006, Amherst published an investment policy that pledges to divest from industries committing “human atrocity”. The coal industry presents a major public health risk that is wholly inconsistent with Amherst’s mission statement, values, and pledged responsible investment policies.

Coal burning power plants are the single largest factor in America’s contribution to global warming and account for 20% of global greenhouse emissions. According to government data, they annually emit more carbon dioxide than the entire transportation sector. Amherst has publically expressed its commitment to fight climate change, but remains financially tied to numerous unsustainable and hazardous corporations. It's time for Amherst to back up its claims of sustainability leadership with concrete action.

Coal is a risky and poor investment rapidly losing market share. Over the past 20 years, coal mining companies have reduced their workforce dramatically, and only 3% of the jobs in West Virginia are in the coal industry. Numerous local organization are speaking out against coal’s deadly affects on their communities. And yet myths about “clean coal” and "coal job creation" remain prevalent in political dialogue. Amherst College, acting in coalition with Swarthmore College, the Five Colleges, over 30 other campuses, and numerous organizations such as 350.org, and the Responsible Endowments Coalition, have the potential to counteract the political myths about the coal industry by publishing a precedent setting divestment policy.



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Deidre Nelms needs your help with “Amherst College: Stop investing in the coal industry”. Join Deidre and 176 supporters today.