What is divestment?

Divestment is when an institution withdraws its investments from certain companies. In this context, the HS Divestment Coalition advocates for secondary institutions to divest from the fossil fuel industry and any companies that profit from the production, transportation, or holding of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, or natural gas.

What is reinvestment?

Reinvestment Is the Idea that the divestment movement can magnify its Impact If the funds divested from fossil fuels are then reinvested In companies that are leading the world In the right direction to solving climate change.

What does divestment do?

Why should secondary institutions divest?

Investors often divest as a result of moral or financial reasons. However, for fossil fuel divestment, the paramount consideration is the environment. The Nueva Divestment Team strongly believes that investing in companies which are perpetuating ecological destruction and climate change contradicts our community values and Mission Statement. More generally, we also believe that it is unethical and financially unsustainable to profit from the environmental exploitation of the fossil fuel industry. Recent research has revealed that due to the larger shift towards clean energy as well as both diminishing and more volatile returns from fossil fuel plants, fossil fuel divestment is becoming more popular solely because of its financial benefits. 

How does divestment align with the philosophies of secondary educational institutions?

Divestment aligns with the responsibilities of secondary institutions to foster engaged citizens, promote environmental sustainability, and enact change. Retracting financial support for the fossil fuel industry is the next logical step in pursuing an environmentally friendly campus and is a great way to set a track record of accountability, leadership, and advocacy for future initiatives.

How might students at a secondary institution work with their administration to divest their endowment from fossil fuels?

Generally, students begin advocating for divestment at their schools by forming a team of educated and passionate students, communicating with their endowment committee or school board, gauging community interest in divestment (through surveys), and hosting educational community events. 

Have other secondary institutions divested from fossil fuels?

Some secondary institutions are involved with the divestment process or have already divested, but not a substantial amount. We hope to have this coalition to gain more momentum for the divestment of fossil fuels at secondary institutions, not just universities. We encourage you to explore this link with hundreds of institutions who are divesting from fossil fuels. In total, over 1,556 institutions have divested from fossil fuels. 

Global Divestments 

Educational Institutions

On-campus protests of the fossil fuel industry erupted at Swarthmore College in 2011. Since then, at least 100+ universities across twelve countries have begun pursuing divestment. This is done by allowing their current holdings in the fossil fuel industry to expire. Some universities with dates for when they announced their divestment include: 

Cities and Countries

Divestment isn’t just limited to university endowments and company portfolios. Entire towns, cities, and countries have divested their pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and governments from fossil fuels, including:

Financial Institutions 

Lastly, several major financial institutions have divested from fossil fuels. Some of the following institutions have divested billions of dollars from the fossil fuel industry:

Want to learn more? Please visit our more detailed resources page!