Here’s a press release from the divestment crew at Tufts about a big meeting they just had with their board of trustees:
Boston, MA—Early Thursday morning, students with the group Tufts Divest for our Future met for the first time with the Investment Committee of Tufts University’s Board of Trustees to discuss divesting the endowment from fossil fuels.
While four students engaged in dialogue with the Board members, over forty other students and community members stood outside the meeting with signs. The group supports divestment as a method to draw attention to the conflict between the fossil fuel industry’s business plan and the hope of preserving a stable climate system.
In the meeting, the Trustees told students that roughly 5% of Tufts’ endowment is invested in fossil fuels. They made it clear that divestment would be a “challenging and difficult” process crequiring serious financial consideration, but invited the students to meet with them again in two weeks.
“We appreciate the administration’s willingness to communicate with us and continue discussion,” said Anna Lello-Smith, a junior at Tufts who was among the group of four students that met with the Board. “At the same time, there is very little time left to combat the climate crisis. We hope the Board understands the urgency of the problem and acts with similar urgency themselves.”
Tufts Divest for Our Future began its fossil fuel divestment campaign last September, asking the university to divest from the top 200 oil, coal, and gas corporations that possess the majority of the world’s carbon reserves. After a semester of teach-ins and workshops, over 1,100 students and 185 alumni have signed petitions in support of divestment.
The Tufts campaign is part of a nationwide movement with over 200 other colleges and universities. The movement, supported by 350.org and other organizations such as Cambridge-based Better Future Project, won early victories last fall when Unity College and the City of Seattle announced intentions to divest.