University of Nebraska: Divest from Fossil Fuels

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents and the University of Nebraska Foundation

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The University of Nebraska system, including all four campuses (UNL, UNK, UNO, and UNMC), currently has a total of $91.3 million invested in the fossil fuel industry. The Board of Regents recently reported that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln alone has $4 million invested in companies on the Carbon Underground 200 list. The University of Nebraska has a moral and fiduciary responsibility to fully divest from the fossil fuel industry as soon as possible. Here's why:

Climate change is one of the most imperative issues of our time and is devastating communities and ecosystems across the globe.

A 2014 report by the University of Nebraska says climate change impacts in Nebraska look like: longer growing seasons, more extreme heat days, more frequent and intense droughts, and much more. These climatic changes will result in massive amounts of damage as we saw in 2019 when large floods led to the loss of three lives and threatened the livelihoods of thousands. The total cost of these floods were over $1.3 billion dollars, dealing a large blow to our state.

Coal plants and other industrial facilities connected to the burning of fossil fuels are disproportionately located in low-income and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities which decreases the air quality and increases cases of asthma. This example of the fossil fuel industry's environmental racism can be seen right here in North Omaha, Nebraska.

Zooming out to look at the impacts of climate change on a global scale, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released a report detailing the impacts we can expect to experience if the global average temperature continues to rise. Those impacts include: negative public health impacts, more frequent and extreme weather events (hurricanes, wildfires, tornados, floods, droughts), and almost 1m of sea level rise by 2100. If actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change are not taken, a World Bank report found that some regions could see over 140 million people become climate migrants -- fleeing uninhabitable areas.

Furthermore, investors responsible for over $11 trillion have divested from oil, coal, and gas companies fueling climate change in the past decade. Investors, like the University of California, are realizing that fossil fuel investments are no longer responsible to make and maintain. Even in Nebraska, Doane University has committed to fully divest from the fossil fuel industry and Creighton University recently announced a partial divestment from the fossil fuel industry.

As the climate crisis continues, it is more important than ever that the University takes an active role in holding the fossil fuel industry accountable. The University of Nebraska should follow the lead of the Association of Big Ten Students and divest from fossil fuels.

Please sign the petition now!

We, the undersigned, urge the University of Nebraska to:

1. Immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies.

2. Publicly commit to be fully divested from the fossil fuel industry, specifically companies on the CU200 list, by 2025.

3. Make all information and actions taken in regards to fossil fuel divestment public and transparent starting now.

Sponsored by
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Lincoln, NE

To: The University of Nebraska Board of Regents and the University of Nebraska Foundation
From: [Your Name]

The University of Nebraska has a moral and fiduciary responsibility to fully divest from the fossil fuel industry as soon as possible. We, the undersigned students, faculty, staff, alumni, administrators, and affiliates of the NU system, urge you to:

1. Immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies.

2. Publicly commit to be fully divested from the fossil fuel industry, specifically companies on the CU200 list, by 2025.

3. Make all information and actions taken in regards to fossil fuel divestment public and transparent starting now.