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Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign comes to GVSU

November 30, 2012

The international group 350.org is spearheading a campaign to get campuses across the US to divest from investing in any companies making a profit from the extraction or burning of fossil fuels.

The campaign has its own website http://gofossilfree.org, which includes regular updates and some well-designed resources on how and why to divest from the fossil fuel industry. There is also a listing of the Top 200 Fossil Fuel Companies, companies that will be targeted in this campaign.Picture 1

As of this writing there are about 100 campuses nationwide that are participating in the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign, with Grand Valley State University being one of them.

There is an online campaign to send letters to GVSU President Thomas Haas, which includes the following text:

Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years.

As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on Grand Valley State University 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 Grand Valley State University will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.

Grand Valley State University is known across the country and the world for being one of the most environmentally-friendly universities in the world. As an institution and a community we are well on our way to initiating action geared toward sustainability and the environment. We need to continue on this path and continue to lead other institutions and universities on the path of sustainability and environmental action.

If any additional efforts are organized at GVSU around this campaign, we will report on those efforts in the future.

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