Officials should divest from fossil fuels or expect student protest

This letter was written by a group of students in Fossil Free GW.

When scientific consensus itself has come under unprecedented attack from the highest office in the nation, it is necessary for the University, chartered by Congress to further human well-being, to affirm the true gravity of human-made climate change with action.

If the Board of Trustees and administrators ignore the call of students and student representatives to divest from our holdings in the oil, coal and natural gas industries, it is just and necessary for students to hold officials accountable. University President Steven Knapp and the Board of Trustees must declare intentions to permanently phase out investments in the fossil fuel industry by Feb. 28, or face escalating interruptions to business as usual at our university including, if necessary, acts of civil disobedience.

As we face a crisis to our climate, educational institutions must dispel the denial of scientific fact. Our financial endowment, a long-term investment fund, must predict a low-carbon economy in line with the targets of the embattled Paris Accords. This should happen not only because we know such a future is just, but because it is the only path in which we ensure a future of human civilization for our grandchildren. If GW does not take leadership in this historic moment and divest from the fossil fuel industry it will be because a handful of officials supposedly acting in the public interest, did not rise to the occasion and listen to the youth who will suffer the most from the effects of climate change.

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