It’s common sense to vote for divestment


The UNC chapter of Roosevelt Institute recently endorsed the campaign to vote yes in support of divesting UNC’s $2.1 billion endowment from the coal industry in today’s election.

This common-sense proposal will force state and national governments to consider climate change more seriously without damaging our endowment.

The mining, burning and disposal of coal add up to an extraordinarily destructive industry.

A recent Harvard University study found the negative environmental and public health impacts of coal could cost the U.S. economy more than one-half of a trillion dollars annually.

The International Energy Agency also reports that coal accounted for 45 percent of energy-related global carbon dioxide emissions in 2011, and phasing out coal is thus critical to addressing climate change.

Coal also poses a threat to our endowment’s investment portfolio. Fossil fuel companies are at risk because of an under-reported “carbon bubble.”

If the U.S. and other governments do enact policies to prevent catastrophic climate change, then the market value of these companies will plummet.

Some may frame this issue as one of liberals versus conservatives, but the data above shows that the proposal makes sense purely in terms of policy outcomes, which is what our nonpartisan organization focuses on.

Divesting from coal creates a more efficient economy for the nation while ensuring fiscal security for our endowment. UNC students expect climate leadership from their University, and this is an excellent place to start.

The Roosevelt Institute urges UNC students to vote yes to divest from coal.

Graham Palmer,
Wilson Parker
UNC Roosevelt Institute

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