MHC Senate Votes in Support of Fossil Fuel Divestment

On February 21st, Mount Holyoke Senate voted in support of the Climate Justice Coalition Statement on divesting MHC’s endowment from fossil fuels. CJC presented at Senate last week to inform them of the Mount Holyoke campaign history, the drive behind fossil fuel divestment, and the financial aspect of divestment. The Senate was presented with two statements: the CJC statement, which stipulates a 5 year timeline in which MHC must divest, and the ad hoc committee statement, which asks MHC to divest with no specific timeline. They voted in favor of one of the statements, in favor of neither, or abstained from the vote. 95% of all senators were present for the vote.

The ad hoc committee was formed last year to review divestment and put together a statement in favor or against the issue. The statement supports divestment and it was given to the Board of Trustees for review last May. Below are the Senate vote results and statements:

Senate Vote on FF Divest

Mount Holyoke Climate Justice Coalition Statement

1. Immediately freeze new investments in the top two hundred publicly traded fossil fuel companies.

2. Remove investments (divest) from these companies over the course of five years.

3. Reinvest in socially responsible and sustainable alternatives.

Ad hoc Committee on Fossil Fuel Divestment

Mount Holyoke College acknowledges that the threat of global warming from continued use of fossil fuels poses serious environmental concerns. Fundamentally, the issue is one of social justice as climate change will have its most deleterious effects on peoples and countries that are least responsible for creating the problem. We recognize that the world must find a way to keep most of the remaining fossil fuel resources in the ground. This requires significant changes in investment strategies and political thinking. The status quo is no longer an acceptable moral option.

Therefore, Mount Holyoke College pledges to gradually withdraw its endowment from fossil fuels as appropriate investment instruments become available. We call upon all institutions of higher learning to join us in this effort. Our leaders in Washington, our investment fund managers, and indeed, financial and governing institutions globally, must be encouraged to find a new paradigm regarding energy and a sustainable future. Mount Holyoke College is committed to this future. 

If you would like to learn more about our campaign to divest Mount Holyoke’s endowment of fossil fuels, check out our article in Mount Holyoke Radix, our Facebook page, or email us at!


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