Students Standing up to Fossil Fuels

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Photo Credit: Stephen Maturen

Students are taking a stand against climate change. A group of students from Swarthmore College have asked their school administration to sell the school’s endowment’s holdings in large fossil fuel companies for months, with the school repeatedly saying no. Swarthmore isn’t the only school with proactive students on climate change. In the 1980s, a similar campaign was done where students asked their schools to divest themselves of stocks with companies who did business in South Africa under apartheid. That campaign proved to be highly successful so now students are trying to do the same to help mitigate climate change and carbon emissions.

A few schools have had luck, but these are schools on the smaller scale with smaller endowments as well. Unity College in mail has voted to get out of fossil fuels and Hampshire College in Massachusetts has adopted a broad investment policy that gets rid of fossil fuel stocks. The big issue with this is schools that rely on their large endowment funds. Bill McKibben of 350,org has been traveling the country visiting universities and trying to urge the students to do just this. McKibben has seen great success on getting the students involved in his mission to divest in 200 different energy companies.

Learn more about what the students and Bill McKibben are doing here (NY Times).

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