Columbia Divest for Climate Justice is a coalition of students, faculty, and Columbia community members united to divest our $8 billion endowment from the fossil fuel industry; specifically from the top 200 companies that hold the most fossil fuel reserves. We are part of the international movement for climate justice, and we started back in 2012 when a few of our founding members attend a talk by Bill McKibben, on his “Do the Math” tour.

We call upon Columbia to divest its $8 billion endowment from the Carbon Underground list of the top 200 fossil fuel companies (by size of reserves), because together, they own and are planning to burn 5x more carbon than will get us to the internationally-agreed ‘safe’ limit of 2°C of warming.

The tactic of divestment – withdrawing funds from a specific industry – will not bankrupt the fossil fuel industry. Instead, it is meant to “revoke the social license” of an industry with a business model inherently tied to catastrophic consequences for the climate and all of humanity.

There are a variety of ways in which we could make the transition to a clean energy economy; however, none of them will work until our leaders understand that prioritizing fossil fuel companies’ profits over the safety and health of the people is not an option.
We are not alone – just as of September 2014, institutions and governments representing over $50 BILLION in assets have divested from fossil fuel companies. Stanford is just one of the major universities that has already pledged to a form of divestment – check out the full write up of the evolution of the movement here.

Three steps you can take to support the campaign right now are 1) sign our petition, if you haven’t already & send it around to your friends; 2) email the link to the faculty petition (check out our more than 330 signatories!) to professors you know; and 3) like us on Facebook for updates and to spread the message.

We welcome further involvement on many levels from anyone affiliated with the Columbia University community – in the way that will make the most of your skills & passions! You can also follow us on Twitter and email us with any questions at columbiadivest@gmail.com.