Fossil Free Yale spoke at the annual Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility’s annual meeting this Tuesday November 4th. Fossil Free Yale, an organization that advocates for the university’s divestment from the fossil fuel industry, criticized the administration’s decision to keep investments in the fossil fuel industry and presented its new proposal. Students came out in support holding signs and wearing orange felt squares with black Y’s on them, a symbol of the divestment movement.
This August, on the first day of classes, the CCIR (corporate committee on investor responsibility) rejected Fossil Free Yale’s proposal to divest the endowment from fossil fuel corporations. Last fall YCC held a referendum for fossil fuel divestment in which 52% of Yale College students voted and 83% (2369) of voting students supported the referendum. Despite overwhelming student support members of Fossil Free Yale were never granted a meeting with the CCIR. The CCIR issued a report explaining their decision to reject the proposal, to which Fossil Free Yale has constructed a detailed rebuttal which they presented at the meeting.
In response to the administration’s decision, the group has also adopted a new proposal. This proposal’s goal is to extend the focus to social justices issues associated with the fossil fuel industry, as well as demand greater respect for student voice. The proposal’s goal is to put forth a more nuanced understanding of the fossil fuel industry and its inability to adapt, and to expand our demands to more explicitly accounting for the impacts the fossil fuel industry has directly on communities. Fossil Free Yale is hoping to be more actively inclusive of fights for social justice within the fight for climate justice.
The ACIR agreed to meet again with Fossil Free, as well as request a meeting between Fossil Free Yale and the CCIR.