Saturday, November 17, 2012

Open Letter to Tufts Alumni

Somerville, MA
November 13, 2012

Dear Tufts Alumni,
I am writing to you today to ask for your support in urging the Trustees of Tufts College to sell the endowment’s holdings in the largest 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies within 5 years.

Sign the petition here: Tufts Alumni Petition

The latest climate science shows that in order to limit global warming to 2°C, we must limit our CO2 emissions to 565 gigatons (Gt) between now and 2050.[1] If burned, the oil and gas reserves held by these 200 companies would emit more than 2795 Gt.[2]

A 2°C increase may not sound like much, but we are already seeing the effects of just a 0.8°C increase. This year, drought covered 80% of the continental United States; wildfires burned nearly 8 million acres; and, most recently, Hurricane Sandy struck New York and New Jersey, costing an estimated $50 billion in damage.[3,4] In just the last 30 years, catastrophic weather events like these in North America have increased by a factor of 5.[5] Without serious reductions in carbon emissions, the damage will grow.

Tufts’ investments in fossil fuel companies enable them to prospect for new reserves, including the Canadian Tar Sands and beneath the Arctic Ocean. Tufts’ investments support the oil and gas industries’ publication of junk science, climate change denial, and congressional lobbying against carbon regulation. 

I am proud of and thankful for the Trustees’ work to grow the endowment. As an alumnus, I care deeply about the University’s continued success, and know that the endowment is a big part of Tufts’ position as one of the best universities in the world. But Tufts’ action on climate change is equally important. Tufts should be a leader on this issue - a light on the hill to inspire other universities. Socially responsible investing (SRI) will both grow the endowment and work towards a more stable society.[6] SRI will send a strong message to other universities to act. Divesting the listed companies would be an affirmation of our institutional ideals of global
leadership and public duty.

Our responsibility to the Tufts community does not end with our departure from campus. The climate crisis requires urgent action and strong leadership. Please join me in asking the Trustees to divest the endowment’s holdings in the fossil fuel industry and instead invest in companies that work toward a better future for our world

Andrew Hastings-Black ‘08 

Sign the petition here: Tufts Alumni Petition


No comments:

Post a Comment