Local Fossil Fuel Divestment Actions
by Larry K. Fried
On April 25, 2013, ten U.S. Cities joined the mayor of Seattle in announcing their commitment to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies because of industry’s responsibility for climate change. Among the ten was the City of Eugene. The details of how Eugene’s divestment will take place are still being worked out.
At the time of this writing there are over 300 colleges and universities with active petition campaigns to divest from fossil fuels. Included in these mostly student led drives, are virtually every major university in our region including OSU in Corvallis, UO in Eugene, and Willamette University in Salem. As a result of the push by students at several of its campuses, the Oregon University System (OUS) is exploring whether to divest about $18 million of its investments that are currently held with the targeted fossil fuel companies. That is about 2.5% of their total investment portfolio. Individual campuses may hold separate funds, such as the University of Oregon Foundation. If OUS decided to divest they would join a handful of universities around the country that have made the commitment thus far.
Other government and institutional efforts within our communities are also underway. To find out more about these campaigns or to start your own, visit gofossilfree.org.