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160 Princeton faculty and staff members: The University must fully divest from fossil fuels

<h6>Paige Cromley / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
Paige Cromley / The Daily Princetonian

The following petition, which can be signed here, has been signed by 160 members of the Princeton University faculty and staff as of April 18. It asks that Princeton University, by the end of this calendar year, no longer seek profit from continued investment in fossil fuels. Since this statement was opened for signature, the University has made public that:

  • The Princeton endowment’s total fossil fuel exposure is roughly 4.5 percent, or about $1.7 billion.  
  • In the past five years, the University has received $26.2 million in new funding from eleven oil and gas companies.
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(Source: Hilary A. Parker, Vice President and Secretary of Princeton University, Dissociation Update, Council of the Princeton University Community, March 21, 2022.)

As the world rapidly disengages from carbon-emitting energy sources by clear necessity, we believe it incompatible with the University’s moral principles to seek profit from continued investment in fossil fuels. We thus call on its leaders to adopt a policy of complete divestment during this calendar year, in keeping with the majority of Ivy League peer institutions.

Since 2013, many Princetonians have advocated for fossil fuel divestment. In May 2021, the University’s Trustees authorized a process to consider dissociation from fossil fuel companies currently spreading climate disinformation, or involved in coal and tar sands production (which together account for less than 25 percent of US fossil fuel emissions). We feel this is not enough; we are fast losing the only home we have.

Former Princeton president Harold Shapiro said, “One aspect of a student’s moral education lies not in the curriculum but in the behavior of the faculty, staff, and administration and in the policies of the institution.” We are faculty and staff proud to work at a university whose slogan reflects its global reach and ambitions — “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity”— and we join thousands of students and alumni in asking that, on this of all issues, our actions align with our aspirations.

Signatures as of 4/18/2022

David Wilcove

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Zia Mian

Rob Nixon

Denise L. Mauzerall

Anne McClintock

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Sandie Blaise

Sophie Gee

Meredith Martin

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Rachel Price

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Sara Constantino

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