A look back to our work in 2014-2015, including our original petition that lead to the trustee's current plan to confront climate change...
This year, a majority of students and faculty, and hundreds of alumni asked the trustees to begin moving endowment investments away from fossil fuel companies. Their response commits to important investments in education, campus energy efficiency, and renewable energy technology, but completely closes the door to divestment. There was no willingness to innovate and provide leadership for our peer institutions on a major challenge: decoupling our financial interest in an industry that works against our mission.
The companies we currently invest in put our future at risk by extracting the carbon that will dramatically change our climate. To ensure their profit, they fund campaigns to cast doubt on established climate science. This is not an appropriate business for Williams to invest in. We're disappointed that the trustees have refused to even try to confront this problem.
So, we continue to ask for divestment. Because this is a challenge we can overcome.
Please consider and sign our petition below to demonstrate your preference that the investment strategy for our endowment should reflect the best climate science and the College’s core values of civic leadership, integrity, and service to society at large. You may read the full proposal submitted on 12/10/14, and our response to the trustees' decision.
Also, consider the petition to give more to Williams if divestment and better emissions standards are reached.
This initiative is put together by Williams alumni, students, faculty, & staff. Join us!
Williams alum returns honorary degree in protest of College's climate plan. WAMC, 10/23/15
Williams divestment movement disappointed at College's climate change strategy. Berkshire Eagle, 9/26/15
Divestment and Leadership. Professors Merrill and Swamy in the Williams Record, 9/23/15
No rest until we divest. Alex Griffin '18 in the Williams Record, 9/16/15
Divestment group says Williams College climate change plans fall short. WAMC, 9/14/15
Petition to the Williams College Board of Trustees:
We ask the Williams College Trustees to:
- screen out all future investments in the top 200 fossil-fuel companies;
- within five years, divest the endowment of all direct and indirect investments in these same companies;
- reinvest in opportunities that will reduce the college's reliance on fossil fuels and companies that will enact solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
We believe that reinvestment over five years can be accomplished without adding risk to the endowment's financial return and we are excited for Williams to lead our peer institutions forward, ensuring that our investment operations are inline with our sustainability policies.