Faculty Letter on Fossil Fuel Divestment

We the undersigned call on the University of Chicago to address the urgent climate crisis by divesting from all fossil fuel concerns. We ask that the University halt any new investments in the fossil fuel industry and, by the end of this academic year, develop a plan to liquidate all current holdings in the fossil fuel industry as quickly as possible, consistent with fiduciary duties, and move to investments that expedite the transition to a green economy. Given the recent alarming conclusions of the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change), the convening of Cop26 (UN Climate Change Conference) and the uniform agreement among climate scientists that climate change is a fact and an existential threat, the University should uphold its own commitments to the scientific method and divest in the fossil fuel industry as Harvard University has recently announced. There are indeed many next steps the University should take to reduce its carbon footprint, with the assistance of its community, but in the face of the accelerated warming of the planet and its dire implications, divestment is both a scientific and moral imperative and thus fully in the spirit of the Kalven Report.

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