Dear Stanford Alumni, Parents, and Staff,
You may have already heard the exciting news—thanks to the work of the Fossil Free Stanford campaign, Stanford has taken the first step in going Fossil Free by divesting from the coal industry!
We are proud that Stanford has once again shown itself to be a forward-thinking institution, helping to lead society toward a sustainable future. However, this is just the first step. Please sign this petition to thank President Hennessy and the Board of Trustees for recognizing that polluting fuels are a dead end, and urge them to take the next step of divesting completely from the fossil fuel industry.
Fossil Free Stanford
PETITION TEXT (sign at right)
To: President John Hennessy and Stanford Board of Trustees
Thank you for your decision to divest Stanford’s endowment from coal mining companies. Your decision made headlines across the globe, sending a resounding message that the continued large-scale extraction and combustion of coal is incompatible with a safe, healthy planet and that we can power society with alternatives to coal. Furthermore, your action paves the way for other institutions to follow, which will create greater momentum for the transition to clean energy sources.
However, divestment from coal alone will not be enough to turn the tide on climate change. As President Hennessy said when announcing this divestment decision, “work continues, at Stanford and elsewhere, to develop broadly viable sustainable energy solutions for the future.” Such efforts should proceed on multiple fronts, and we applaud Stanford’s ongoing campus sustainability initiatives and the faculty’s world-class research on environmental solutions.
Stanford must also move forward on complete fossil fuel divestment--coal accounts for only 44% of carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector. The combustion of oil and natural gas at the current scale is also incompatible with a sustainable world, and, yet, oil and natural gas companies continue to thwart steps necessary to transition to cleaner energy sources.
The power of fossil fuel divestment, like that of Stanford’s divestment from companies in Apartheid-era South Africa and the tobacco industry, lies in its significance as both a moral and an economic statement. Divestment promotes a broader recognition that fossil fuels are endangering the planet, and that we need to act as a society to reduce our dependence on them. Furthermore, many of us contribute to Stanford financially, and do not want our own contributions to fund this destructive industry.
We stand with the 78% of Stanford undergraduate voters, the Graduate Student Council, and hundreds of Stanford faculty who support Stanford’s divestment from all fossil fuels. Please fulfill Jane Stanford's founding principle for the University, “to render the greatest possible service to mankind,” by going beyond coal and divesting from all of the top 200-publicly traded fossil fuel companies.