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350 Madison and the UW student group Climate Action 350 UW are joining campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns across the country to change the math of the climate crisis. We are calling on the University of Wisconsin–Madison to divest from enterprises that extract, transport, process, or distribute fossil fuels. Click here to sign UW-Madison faculty and staff petition OR click here to sign UW-Madison alumni and friends petition.
The primary purpose of UW–Madison, according to its mission statement, is to:
provide a learning environment in which faculty, staff and students can discover, examine critically, preserve and transmit the knowledge, wisdom and values that will help ensure the survival of this and future generations and improve the quality of life for all.
We find an intolerable contradiction between the university’s mission and its investment, through the UW Foundation, in companies that threaten the future of not only today’s students, but also human civilization as we know it.
On December 3, 2012, 350 Madison and Climate Action 350 UW delivered more than 1,200 petition signatures, along with this letter, to UW Foundation President Michael M. Knetter.
In March 2013, the UW–Madison Teaching Assistants Association (TAA) called on UW–Madison to divest from fossil fuel interests and pursue alternatives.
In February 2014, the UW–Madison Ad Hoc Committee on Fossil Fuel Use and Climate Change issued a report recommending that the university undertake a number of “bold initiatives leading to near term real world impacts”—specifically, prioritizing education initiatives around climate change; promoting research on climate change; committing the campus to significant emission reduction targets; and promoting non–fossil fuel investment opportunities. A minority of the committee urged the UW Foundation to divest from fossil fuels.
You Can Join Our Divestment Campaign!
- If you are a UW alum, student, parent, faculty, staff, or concerned community member, tell UW how much divestment means to you! Sign the faculty/staff petition here OR sign the alumni and friends petition here to tell UW Foundation to divest.
- Make a donation to the UW Foundation conditional upon divestment by donating to the Multi-School Fossil Free Divestment Fund to pressure UW–Madison to divest. You can find out more about the fund here.
- Current or retired UW faculty or staff members can also sign this open letter from the Faculty and Staff Divestment Network calling on universities and colleges across the nation to divest from fossil fuels.
- Ask your faith community leaders to revise this sample letter to fit their organization, stating their support for our divestment campaign, and send it to the UW Foundation, U.S. Bank Lockbox, Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI, 53278-0807.
Help Us Keep the Pressure On!
To be informed about future developments and opportunities to take action, sign up for the 350 Madison email list for regular updates. If you’re a student and would like to get more involved, check out the Fossil Free UW Coalition’s Facebook page.