Divest the University at Buffalo Endowment from Fossil Fuels
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We, the undersigned are proud to stand with the students who have initiated a call for fossil fuel divestment known as “Fossil Free UB”. We urge you, for the sake of ecological sustainability and social justice, to join other universities and colleges to FREEZE any new investments in fossil fuels, DIVEST from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years, and REINVEST in clean energy and socially responsible alternatives.
This "Fossil Free UB" campaign has been growing steadily since September 2015. It was initiated by the UB Environmental Network, and has collected nearly 1,000 signatures on paper petitions since then.
The University at Buffalo has received considerable recognition for its efforts in promoting sustainability; but with leadership comes responsibility. Since March 2007, As an early signatory of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, UB has committed themselves to becoming climate neutral by 2030. In addition, to the recent Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, we show our sustainability leadership through the Solar Strand, the creation of the Environmental Stewardship Committee, the 2009 Climate Action Plan, and the numerous awards received by our dining program are just a few of the ways our university showcases its environmental leadership. A university celebrated for sustainability initiatives should be in the forefront of the movement to slow climate change through fossil fuel divestment.
UB faculty all across campus teach about the ecological and social consequences of fossil fuel dependence; our university investments should reflect that wisdom. UB has long been recognized for the commitment of its faculty and librarians to scholarship that promotes social justice, we emphasize that climate change poses a danger to the entire planet, and that people of low income, people of color, indigenous people, and people in the Global South are disproportionately affected by the environmental consequences of fossil fuel dependence. Through fossil fuel divestment, the Board of Trustees would bring the UB Foundation into alignment with the values and achievements of UB faculty, librarians, students and staff.
As long as fossil fuel corporations remain profitable, they will continue to influence government energy policy and undermine hopes for a sustainable future. A growing number of academic institutions, municipalities, religious institutions, and foundations have already divested from fossil fuels. Joining this movement sends a powerful message that saving the planet requires a rapid transition to renewable sources of energy.
The choice to divest has become more financially sound. Investment professionals have become increasingly concerned about the financial risks of continuing to invest in these industries, while numerous reports have shown that portfolios without fossil fuel investments may in fact out-perform those with them.
Fossil fuel divestment takes the fossil fuel industry to task for its culpability in the climate crisis. By naming this industry’s singularly destructive influence — and by highlighting the moral dimensions of climate change — we hope that the fossil fuel divestment movement can break the hold that the fossil fuel industry has on our economy and government.
It is time for the University at Buffalo to join the movement to divest from fossil fuel companies.
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