University students calling for a divestment from fossil fuel industry

It is being called the biggest student movement in the U.S. in years.

Students at 192 university campuses across North America want their schools to step up on the issue of climate change by divesting what would be millions-of-dollars worth of endowments from the fossil fuel industry.

The students believe that investing in fossil fuels is investing in climate change.

Their campaign parallels the actions of universities back in the 80's when they used the same tactic to fight apartheid in South Africa.

The founder of 350-dot-org, Bill McKibben will Do The Math on the campaign he's encouraging.

In a speech on 19th December from the Senate Floor, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) spoke about the urgency of the climate crisis and then commended students for taking up fossil fuel divestment.

Here’s what he said:

The public is ready for us to take action, but we’re not. We are, as I’ve said previous speeches, sleepwalking. As Congress sleepwalks, Americans actually are taking action on their own.  
In coordination with the nonprofit organization 350.org, for example, students at more than 150 colleges and universities across the country are pressing those institutions to sell off the portions of their endowment portfolio that are invested in fossil fuel companies.  
These students are imploring their schools to weigh the real cost of climate change against the drive for more financial returns, and divest from the polluters.  
This type of divestment campaign was deployed effectively in the 1980s to pull investments from South Africa during apartheid. With American college and university endowments estimated to total more than $400 billion, this movement by students deserves significant attention. 


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