Demand Northwestern University's Board of Trustees Divest from Fossil Fuels

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Fossil Free Northwestern submitted a divestment proposal calling on Northwestern University to divest from coal, oil, and gas to ACIR (Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility). With a unanimous vote* (one vote was submitted with comments), ACIR approved and recommended Fossil Free Northwestern's divestment proposal to Northwestern University's Board of Trustees in MAY 2019. Five months later, The Board of Trustees has yet to issue a public statement stating whether they have even deliberated on our proposal, let alone when they plan on making a decision. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, this petition demands the Board of Trustees to:

1) Disclose in a public, institutionalized statement if they have begun deliberating the proposal or not, and if so, what stage of deliberation the proposal is currently at 

2) Release their timeline regarding their decision-making process and when they plan to have a thoughtful, timely decision released in a public, institutionalized statement 

3) Vote yes on Fossil Free Northwestern's divestment proposal 

4) Substantially and meaningfully involve Fossil Free Northwestern in the implementation and/or negotiation process 


Read the full divestment proposal here 

Read Fossil Free's history and review overwhelming student, alumni, faculty and staff support here 

Read an explanation of what ACIR is and does here

Read more about the Fossil Free Divestment Movement here

** Signing this petition will automatically send an email to the Treasurer of Endowment and Trust Funds, T. Bondurant French, reiterating our demands **

Synopsis of Fossil Free's Divestment Proposal SUBMITTED IN MAY 2019: 

Northwestern University must respond to the urgent threat of climate change and fulfill its commitments to sustainability by adopting a "stop, drop, and roll" policy that many of our peer institutions, such as Stanford University, John Hopkins University, and the UC system, have. Climate change poses the single greatest threat to human rights in the 21st century—not only do the scientifically-proven effects of climate change pose an existential threat to world environments and livelihoods, but they do so disproportionately. The countries and individuals with the lowest consumption of fossil fuels are likely to experience the strongest effects of their emissions and adverse health consequences. Northwestern University currently has $3.9 million directly invested in coal and $45.4 million directly invested in oil and gas, not including Northwestern's indirect investment holdings, which comprise NINETY percent of the endowment.

By investing in fossil fuels, Northwestern is thus investing in environmental injustice, racial injustice, economic injustice, and in an industry which directly poses a threat to the fundamental and unequivocally universal right to life, food, health, education, and to an adequate standard of living.

We demand:
1: An immediate halt in future investments from fossil fuel extraction and sales companies.
2: A five-year period to drop existing investments.
3: Rolling out a reinvestment plan in renewable energy companies.
4: Divestment from any company on the Carbon Underground Fossil Free Index.
5: The Board publicly respond to this proposal with a policy plan regarding how environmental sustainability and climate change will factor in future investment decisions.

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