The Berkeley Faculty Association urges the Regents of the University of California to divest from fossil fuels at its meeting on 17 September 2014.
As a public university the University of California has a special duty to help lead the campaign against fossil fuels and climate change. Just as in the past faculty at the University of California have lent their voices in support of divestment from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa (1985) and from tobacco interests (2001), so we again call for action in the name of the public interest.
With a General Endowment Fund worth around $6.5 billion the University of California has a historic opportunity to deliver an important message to the industries most directly responsible for exacerbating climate change.
In doing so, it will join thirteen other campuses across the country—from Stanford to Hampshire College—who have recognized that divestment does not just make ethical sense, it can be introduced with minimal negative impact upon their endowment incomes.
UC researchers already top the field of climate science, and are setting an example of how the university’s research and teaching is intended to enrich the world for future generations. President Napolitano has committed the UC system to carbon neutrality and sustainable practices by 2025, including green building standards, sourcing our energy from clean sources, and encouraging faculty, staff and students to drive less. Divestment aligns with these contributions and commitments. It is necessary and should happen now.
Colleen Lye and James Vernon
Co-Chairs, Berkeley Faculty Association