Open Letter To The Regents

Open Letter To The UC Regents

The following letter, with all of its signatures, will be delivered to the UC Regents before their vote on fossil fuel divestment in September. Thank you for adding your voice of support for a Fossil Free UC and a clean energy future.

To the University of California Board of Regents,

We are writing to encourage you to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis and divest the University of California’s holdings from the fossil fuel industry.

Specifically, we support the call to freeze all new investments in the 200 fossil fuel companies that hold the vast majority of the world’s coal, oil and gas reserves; fully phase out fossil fuel holdings over the next five years; and reinvest assets in climate solutions.

The University of California is a leader in sustainability and supports some of the most important climate and environmental research in the world. Yet the University currently invests billions in companies that have made it their business model to extract and burn far more carbon than scientists have deemed safe to avert catastrophic climate disruption. These companies are not passive energy providers; many have spent vast sums of money to spread misinformation about climate change and lobby Congress to protect their interests, making clear their commitment to an unsustainable status quo. It is time for the UC to align its investments with a clean energy economy by divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in climate solutions.

The University of California should know better than most the striking political impact divestment can achieve. When Nelson Mandela made his first trip to the United States after being freed from prison and elected president, he visited California to thank students, faculty and administrators at the UC for leading the divestment movement and helping free South Africa. The UC’s divestment from fossil fuels would be similarly impactful, sending a powerful message to political leaders, financial markets and society as a whole that today’s institutional leaders demand nothing less than a healthy planet and sustainable economy for current and future generations.

Divestment is not only an ethical decision, it is a financially prudent one. Climate change poses a serious threat to our entire economy, especially in a state like California. The fossil fuel industry itself is also in an increasingly perilous position, as potential climate restrictions threaten to strand trillions of dollars of high carbon assets. Meanwhile, an increasing range of safe, profitable fossil free investment options are now available. If the University signaled it was ready to make the move, the demand would lead to an even greater supply.

By continuing to invest in coal, oil and gas companies, the University of California is essentially betting that societal efforts to regulate carbon dioxide will be a colossal failure. That’s a gamble that is neither consistent with the University’s values nor compatible with a healthy planet.

Students across the University system have made it clear through resolutions, petitions and demonstrations that divestment is a top priority. Your responsibility as regents is ultimately to them and future generations, the young people this institution is designed to serve. We urge you to heed their call, protect their future, and divest from fossil fuels.



Sign On: Open Letter To The Regents

Signature count: 7, showing 7 per page
First NameLast NamePosition/TitleOrganization
Dan Kalb City Councilmember City of Oakland
Gayle McLaughlin Mayor City of Richmond
Kevin McKeown Councilmember City of Santa Monica, which HAS divested!
Tom Bates Mayor City of Berkeley
Assemblymember Das Williams California State Assemblymember, 37th District
Kriss Worthington City Council City of Berkeley
Van Jones President Rebuild The Dream