Sally Bunner


Divestment Now: The Best Solution for Environmental Justice

Why divestment is the best solution to create change.

Power Up! Divest Fossil Fuels: Student Convergence 2013 took place this past weekend at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA. Students from Harvard, Middlebury, Earlham, Yale, Brown, Bryn Mawr, Cornell, Sewanee, and Swartmore worked for months to raise funds, organize the event, invite speakers from a wide-array of backgrounds, and much more to make this event possible. In total, almost 200 students from 77 different schools were represented at this Convergence. They came from different backgrounds with various entry points into climate activism, and proved this weekend that in building a powerful national movement, we can use our differences to grow in so many ways.

For those new to the movement, divestment is the tactic of taking one's money out of a particular stock/bond/mutual fund, etc. There have been many times throughout history where movements have called for the use of this tactic, including divestment from South African Apartheid, divestment from Sudan, divestment from Israeli Apartheid, divestment from the prison-industrial complex, and more. The fossil fuel divestment movement is a rapidly growing student movement which has been active for over two years. Growing from 40 colleges and universities to over 200 in the Fall of 2013 (thanks in part to and Bill McKibben's Do The Math tour), this movement has resulted in four colleges and the city of Seattle already committing to fossil-fuel-free investment portfolios. Similarly, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island mentioned divestment on the Senate floor as an example of the popular desire for climate legislation before taking part in Sunday’s Forward on Climate rally in Washington, D.C., where he was joined by thousands of students mobilized by divestment.

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