January 29, 2019

350.org on Middlebury College Fossil Fuel Divestment Commitment

Middlebury, VT Today, Middlebury College announced the decision divest the school’s $1.1 billion endowment from fossil fuel companies, as well as pipeline firms and oil-field service companies, of which $55 million were reportedly invested in fossil fuels. Middlebury College is the alma mater of co-founders of 350.org, a global grassroots climate movement working to build a world free from fossil fuels with 100% renewables for all. Now, the work of its founders is coming back home to where it all began.

To date, over 1020 institutions around the world representing more than $8 trillion in assets have committed to some level of divestment.

Bill McKibben, Middlebury College Schumann Distinguished Scholar and 350.org co-founder, said:

“A lot has happened since Middlebury rejected divestment six years ago: the hideous fires and storms, the relentless fall in the price of renewable energy, the revelation that the oil executives had lied about global warming to protect their business. It’s a great credit to its commitment to education that the college community has learned from all that and now chosen a distinctly different path.

“Middlebury’s broad divestment commitment — to sell shares not only in fossil fuel companies but in pipeline firms and oil-field service companies — combines with a bold commitment to run the whole campus on renewable power inside of ten years, and to cut energy use by a quarter. No campus I know of can make a more solid claim to having taken the climate crisis with the seriousness it deserves.”

Alec Fleischer, Divest Middlebury student-organizer, class of 2020, said:

“With divestment, Middlebury finally ends the contradiction of owning shares in corporations that can only turn a profit by accelerating climate change. The trustees made the correct decision in aligning our investments with the College’s mission to ‘address the world’s most challenging problems.’”

May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director and Middlebury College alumnus, said:

“Yesterday was my birthday, and I couldn’t imagine a better gift than this! The seeds of 350.org were sown at Middlebury College, and it’s because of the unrelenting students with Divest Middlebury that my alma mater joins the over 1000 institutions around the world committed to divest from fossil fuels. This is a reminder of the responsibility all educational institutions have in choosing a side: that of fossil fuel billionaires, or that of their students? I’m so proud Middlebury is choosing its students.”

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Contact: Lindsay Meiman, lindsay@350.org, +1 (347) 460-9082

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