Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

The student group Divest SU launched in 2012 following an on-campus lecture by environmentalist Bill McKibben. (Photo: Divest SU and ESF/Facebook)

In Another Divestment Victory, Syracuse University Goes Fossil Free

Announcement declares: 'Syracuse will not directly invest in publicly traded companies whose primary business is extraction of fossil fuels.'

Deirdre Fulton

Joining a rapidly expanding international network of institutions seeking to de-fund the industries driving global warming, Syracuse University on Tuesday announced it would divest its $1.8 billion endowment from coal mining and fossil fuel companies.

In a press release, the private research university based in central New York explained: "This commitment means that Syracuse will not directly invest in publicly traded companies whose primary business is extraction of fossil fuels. The university will also direct its external investment managers to take every step possible to prohibit investments in these public companies as well."

In addition, the university said it would "continue to seek additional investments through its endowment in companies that are developing new technology related to solar energy, biofuels, and advanced recycling."

Chancellor Kent Syverud added: "Syracuse has a long record of supporting responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship, and we want to continue that record. Formalizing our commitment to not invest directly in fossil fuels is one more way we do that."

The announcement comes on the heels of a meeting in late February between university officials and Divest SU, a student group formed in 2012 after author and environmentalist Bill McKibben—whose organization,, is spearheading the global divestment push—gave a lecture on campus.

In response to Tuesday's news, the group posted on Facebook: "This is a big step forward, but we will not rest until SU does not have a single cent invested in these companies."

Earlier this year, the University of Maine became the first public land grant institution—and first university system—in the U.S. to divest its fossil fuel holdings. Students and faculty members at other institutions, including Harvard and Stanford universities, are also pushing for divestment.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'This Is Big': House Passes Amendment to Cut US Complicity in Saudi Bombing of Yemen

The vote, said Rep. Ro Khanna, "sent a clear message to the Saudis: end the bombing in Yemen and lift the blockade."

Andrea Germanos ·

Praised for 'Braving the Smears,' Tlaib Votes Against $1 Billion in Military Aid to Israel

One rights group thanked Tlaib "for speaking truth to power" while being attacked "for simply insisting that Palestinians are human beings who deserve safety, security, and freedom from Israeli apartheid."

Brett Wilkins ·

'A Choice Point for Humanity': Women Demand Visionary Shift at UN Climate Talks

"This is the time to unite together to build the healthy and just future we know is possible for each other and the Earth."

Julia Conley ·

'Hold Strong': Coalition Urges House to Reject Bipartisan Bill Until Reconciliation Package Passed

The bipartisan infrastructure bill "doesn't contain the climate solutions and care, education, and economic investments we need," more than 90 progressive groups wrote in a letter.

Kenny Stancil ·

New Legal Campaign Aims to Protect People and Nature From Polluters' 'Irreparable Damage'

"States must listen to communities' demands to recognize the human right to a healthy environment and better regulate businesses with respect to the impacts of their operations."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo