Read our report, "The Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment," which we provided to the Board of Trustees.
The math is simple. In order for our planet to stay below 2°C of warming above pre-Industrial levels—an internationally recognized benchmark—80% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground.
Recognizing this, we call on Stanford to divest its $22 billion endowment from companies that extract coal, oil, or natural gas, and thereby contribute to the alarming pace of global climate change.
Leland and Jane Stanford founded this university to "promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” By educating future leaders, our school invests so much in the future of our planet.
In contrast, investing in fossil fuel companies at the same time is counterproductive. Stanford can continue invest in a just and sustainable future, while removing investments that would destroy that future. By divesting from fossil fuels, Stanford would cement its status as a leader in the fight to build a better world.
It's time for Stanford to stop investing in the fuels that threaten our future. It's time to step up as leaders of the movement for a clean, sustainable future, by going fossil free.
The Power of Divestment
Divestment has a long and fruitful history. Its roots lie in the anti-Apartheid movement, when students and citizens from across the U.S. called on their institutions to divest—to sell their holdings—from companies doing business with the oppressive South African government. It has also been used to protest tobacco companies, violence in the Darfur, and now fossil fuel companies.
Today, more than 400 colleges and universities around the world are calling on their institutions to divest from the fossil fuel industry. They are joined by more than 300 campaigns calling on cities, religious groups, and philanthropy organizations to divest as well.
Since the Fossil Free movement's inauguration in 2012, we've had many successes. More than 28 universities, 42 cities and towns, and countless religious and philanthropic organizations have committed to divest.
These range from local organizations to billion-dollar organizations like the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Guardian Media Group, and Syracuse University. $2.3 trillion have been divested or prevented from future investment in fossil fuels. By pursuing fossil fuel divestment, Fossil Free Stanford and our fellow campaigns around the world are actively fighting for a better future.
Stanford Supports Divestment
At Stanford, we've reached out to more than 3,200 students, faculty, alumni, and community members who have expressed their support for divestment.
- Last year, 75% of the Stanford undergraduate student body voted in favor of fossil fuel divestment.
- More than 379 Stanford faculty have co-signed a letter calling on the administration to divest.
- The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), representing all undergraduate students, and the Graduate Student Council, have both passed resolutions in support of fossil fuel divestment.