Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years.

As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on Grand Valley State University to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action on behalf of Grand Valley State University will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.

Grand Valley State University is known across the country and the world for being one of the most environmentally-friendly universities in the world. As an institution and a community we are well on our way to initiating action geared toward sustainability and the environment. We need to continue on this path and continue to lead other institutions and universities on the path of sustainability and environmental action.

President Thomas J. Haas:

Because it is unconscionable to pay for our education with investments that will condemn the planet to climate disaster, we call on Grand Valley State University to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds.

Signed,

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