Northwestern University Responsible Endowment Coalition, in conjunction with the Associated Student Government has released a petition to urge all students, faculty, staff and members of the Northwestern community to show their support for the university to completely divest from the coal industry. Furthermore, the petition asks that the university continue its commitment to sustainability by channeling future investments toward renewable energy and clean technologies.
Northwestern University Senate passed the proposed legislation on Wednesday, January 30, 2013. The bill also commends the university’s prior divestment from select fossil fuel companies in 2005 and additionally indicates complete divestment from fossil fuel companies as a future goal.
The petition was released on February 5, 2013 via email to the Northwestern community by members of the Northwestern University Responsible Endowment Coalition. The petition proposes more environmentally conscious investments of the university endowment will align with the principles of the Northwestern Strategic Plan.
ASG Associate Vice President for Sustainability Mark Silberg, a co-author of the legislation, believes now is the time for Northwestern to take leadership in sustainability.
“As a world renowned research institution with an explicit commitment to energy and sustainability, Northwestern is ready to put action behind our words. The immense support we have received from faculty, staff, students, and alumni is not only inspiring, but is also testament to our vision of Northwestern as a global citizen,” said Silberg. “We look forward to working with our administration and Trustees to implement these measures with little risk to our endowment.”
The public petition is available online and will circulate until the end of the month.