Fossil Free U

University of Washington

Fossil Free U
Peter Fink

The Secretary-General of the United Nations recently declared that the model of fossil fuel companies is inconsistent with human survival. Fossil fuel companies have been aware of the climate crisis since the 1970s, and have since blatantly lied to and influenced the public, in campaigns compared to those of Big Tobacco. Fossil fuel giants in the US expect to be burning more, not less, oil and natural gas by 2050, setting us on the worst-case track for climate change.

While the University of Washington has a relationship with these companies: they are complicit in the harms caused by the fossil fuel industry. The relationship between fossil fuels and the University of Washington must end. UW Students are now leading the charge with the Fossil Free U (FFU) campaign to demand the elimination of all traces of fossil fuels within the institution.

Rather than complicity with the fossil fuel industry, which has caused not just the climate crisis but also great racial and social injustice, FFU understands that UW must be a model for a sustainable future and a just transition. This starts by ending the flow of money (millions of dollars both ways) to and from the fossil fuel industry and refusing to cooperate with their agenda of deceit.

Next, UW must rapidly transition away from infrastructure that necessitates fossil fuel usage. UW must stop building new infrastructure that is dependent on the burning of fossil fuels, and transition our campus to a green and sustainable one. Currently, the UW Power Plant runs on methane.

While we look forward to the day UW runs sustainably, we fear the University of Washington (and much of the world) may not reach this goal in time to prevent catastrophic climate disaster. We need support and action from all members of our community, not just students, to make these goals a reality.

Join us in signing this petition to set UW on the path to total independence from the fossil fuel industry in the coming years. Through the FFU campaign, the UW community stands up against the companies sabotaging our future and hijacking our present. UW: the time is now to be a Fossil Free University!

To: University of Washington
From: [Your Name]

FFU’s demands for the University of Washington are simple;

1. Don’t take fossil fuel money,
2. Don’t give fossil fuels money,
3. Stop building fossil fuel infrastructure,
4. Transition away from fossil fuels use, and
5. Don’t conspire with fossil fuels.

* By not funding fossil fuels, the University of Washington will divest the $124 million it has invested in the Fossil Fuel industry, and disclose to UW faculty when their retirement plans fund this same destructive industry.
* By refusing fossil fuel money, the University of Washington will refuse donations (in recent years numbering millions) from Fossil Fuel corporations and lobbying groups.
* By “stop building”, UW will end new Fossil Fuel infrastructure being placed on campus.
* By transitioning away from Fossil Fuels, existing Fossil Fuel infrastructure will be phased out (UW Purchasing & Operations being decarbonized.)
* By not conspiring, the University of Washington will eliminate promotional advertising, and end career fairs or other events which promote and funnel prospective employees into the Fossil Fuel industry.