Cornell has invested millions of dollars in fossil fuels,
meaning that the university benefits from the destruction wrought by fossil fuel companies.
Cornell has refused to disclose exactly how much they have invested,
but considering that on average 4-6% of endowments are invested in
fossil fuels, we estimate that Cornell owns around $400 million.
In early 2016, all Cornell Assemblies passed a resolution calling for the university to stop investing in this exploitative, morally reprehensible industry. Unfortunately, it was struck down by the Board of Trustees, a group that controls the university's endowments, among other things. As students, and therefore beneficiaries of the endowment, we must demand that the Board of Trustees divest.
After years of inaction from our institution, we demand that Cornell
commit to divestment from all fossil fuel companies by February 13, 2020:
National Fossil Fuel Divestment Day.
Given the upcoming trustee meeting on February 1, 2020, there is still
time and opportunity for this decision to be made.
If this demand is not met, we are committed to disrupting business as usual
on the Cornell Ithaca campus until the Board of Trustees pledges to divest.
We are choosing confrontation after fruitless attempts of working with the administration and a failed vote by the Board of Trustees. We have exhausted all other options––we are acting out of urgency for the sake of our future and shared livelihoods.
Divestment is the opposite of an investment. It simply means
selling unethical stocks and other investments and, generally,
replacing them with better alternatives. Fossil fuel investments are
not only risky for investors, they support industries whos immoral
actions directly contribute to climate change and pollution.
The actual process of divestment is very gradual, and there are many different models for completing it. Done properly, it does not pose a financial risk to Cornell.
Despite claiming to be "the greenest Ivy", Cornell continues to be complacent in its contribution to climate change. It has fallen behind many other schools, such as the University of California system, which have already committed to divestment.
Dear President Martha Pollack and Board of Trustees,
Today, December 6, we demand change. Our actions here on campus are a part of a wider, global movement; as millions around the world are demanding meaningful change from our systems and institutions, we are calling on Cornell to end its hypocrisy, to end putting profit over people the world over, including its own students. After years of inaction from our institution, Climate Justice Cornell and our fellow students, demand that Cornell commit to divestment from all fossil fuel companies by February 13, 2020: national Fossil Fuel Divestment Day. The next Board of Trustees meeting is February 1, 2020, but regardless, there has been and there still is ample time for this decision to be made. If this demand is not met, we are committed to disrupting business as usual on the Cornell Ithaca campus until the Board of Trustees pledges to divest. We are choosing confrontation after fruitless attempts of working with the administration and a failed vote by the Board of Trustees. We have exhausted all other options –– we are acting out of urgency for the sake of our future and shared livelihoods.
Sincerely, Climate Justice Cornell
We use frequent rallies and
non-violent direct action
to pressure university administration.
By doing so, we show that we, the campus community, are standing up
for our planet and our future.
To participate, you just need to show up. Upcoming events and details are posted to our Facebook page. You can also get updates about events by joining our email list.
Climate Justice Cornell and the divestment campaign are run by students.
We have a horizontal power structure, and welcome anyone interested in
organizing at any commitment level. We encourage you to contribute to
an upcoming action or spearhead something of your own.
Meetings are a great starting point to get involved and they're also fun! Time & place as of Spring 2020 semester:
G-Body (general meeting): Tuesdays at 5:30PM, 107 Morrill Hall
Divestment Strategy: TBA
Treeboard (g-body planning): TBA
Fill out this form to join Slack, which we use for most digital communication. You can also join the mailing list for general updates.
For details on upcoming protests and how to get involved visit the Climate Justice Cornell Facebook page.
For other requests including press and collaborations, feel free to email us. Someone will respond when possible.
This form is processed with Formspree and will require you to complete a reCAPTCHA.