As climate activists from around the world gathered for the second day of the conference on climate change, students, staff and faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder marched across campus to call on the board to divest from fossil fuel companies. rice field.
Protesters in bright orange shirts and hats with the word “DIVEST” written on them gathered outside the University Memorial Center at noon on December 2nd. There, representatives from up to 94 countries met at the ‘Here Now, Now World Climate Summit’.
“Our community wants it. So we have to demand it from the government because our administration represents the community,” said graduate student and speaker Ivan Daniel. Espinosa said at the protest. “That’s what they do. It’s time to move away from fossil fuels.”
Fossil Free CU, a climate rights group that has been active in one form or another since 2013, organized and led the march on Friday. In 2015, a similar climate activist group brought the payback issue to the Board of Trustees, who rejected him by a 7-2 vote.
Sophomore Fiona Nugent joined the movement in August and helped organize Friday’s protests.
“Because we are here [the university] Despite advertising itself as this very green university, it invested in fossil fuels. Not only does it go against our values, it really threatens the future of our students,” Nugent said. It will grow exponentially over the next few years.”
On the university side, we have promoted our sustainability track record and our commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. However, forcing CU to move away from fossil fuels may become more difficult in the future.
In a written statement issued ahead of the event, Prime Minister Philippe DiStefano and Chief Sustainability Officer Heidi Vangenderen said:The matter of the sale of the University of Colorado’s financial assets is the responsibility of the leadership and board of the CU system.
According to reports of colorado public radiothe university system has $270 million worth of equity or other investments in fossil fuel companies, representing approximately 5% of the total investment.
Protesters had planned to deliver a three-page petition to management members of the Benson Geoscience Building, but the speaker said management had been told they were too busy to attend.
Instead, the organizers put on a skit mocking the college’s lack of attendance, using puppets in suits as administrators.
Among Friday’s protesters were a variety of people in food-themed costumes, including Beth Osnes, a professor of environmental studies and theater at CU Boulder, dressed as a carrot.
“The reason I am [dressed as a carrot] Because top climate action includes foods that reduce food waste and plant-based diets,” she said. “We can also sell it to significantly reduce our fossil fuel consumption.”
Osnes and others like her hope Friday’s march will show university officials that moving away from fossil fuels is a concrete step they can take to tackle climate change. increase.
“We hope to make plans to start selling,” Osnes said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us to really mobilize and make demands…we are now part of this UN conference on human rights and climate change.”
CU Boulder Student Government (CUSG) President Jess Alschuler drafted a resolution in favor of the group.of resolutionpasses the CUSG Legislative Council, it will formally endorse Fossil Free CU and its mission.
“We definitely know how [the university] We intend to sell in multiple ways, basically just making CU more sustainable,” said Alschuler.
The resolution is scheduled for a second reading at the Legislative Council’s final session on Thursday, December 8.
There are also signs of progress in fossil-free CU at the university system level.
In a written statement, Ken McConnellogueActing Vice President of Communications for CU Systems, explained how Regent Leslie Smith met with members of Fossil Free CU to advance their cause to the board.
“One of the guiding principles of CU Boulder is to engage with the world and that student behavior [at the protest] reflect that McConnellogue said.
You can listen to an audio version of this story here.
Henry Larson contributed to this story.
Please contact CU Independent Senior News Editor Bella Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org.