Environmentalists try to get MU to divest $14 million
COLUMBIA- Some MU students, faculty, and alumni banned together to convince the University of Missouri to divest in fossil fuels after discovering in records that the UM system invested $14 million this fiscal year in fossil fuel companies.
The Mizzou Energy Action Coalition (MEAC) President, Frankie Hawkins said that it was a long process to get the information from the UM system.
"We worked to get the information from their treasurer and we had to go through the endowment and figure out which companies were fossil fuels and we added that all up to get the $14 million figure," Hawkins said.
MEAC is currently recruiting support for their campaign to instead reinvest this money in renewable energy.
MEAC member Madelyn Sobey, said the investment contradicts what she learns in class.
"It's hard taking environmental classes and hearing from your professors climate change is bad, fossil fuels are bad. But you go to the University of Missouri who are supporting fossil fuels and therefore, supporting climate change. I would like the University to work as one," Sobey said.
MU's Communication Manager, Karlan Seville said that MU is working hard to reduce the use of fossil fuels and has reduced its greenhouse gas emmissions by over 43 percent.
"MU has taken a leadership role nationally to decrease its use of fossil fuels. We are committed to making actual changes on our campus instead of purchasing renewable energy credits, as other universities have chosen to do to reach climate neutrality more quickly,"Seville said.
Hawkins said that she has gotten help from other universities whose fossil fuel divestment plan was a success.
"We've reached out to other universities to see how they went about divesting from fossil fuels, I think there are more than 200 universities that have divested from fossil fuels." Hawkins said. "So we've been trying to get some helpful tips and tricks from them about how to go about it."
MEAC started writing letters to Missouri representatives and senators as well as working with other organizations such as Peace Works and the Citizens Climate Lobbyists.
MEAC hopes to set up a meeting with the UM board of curators soon to discuss the issue.
"We love MIzzou and we want our board of Curators to make the best decisions for all of us," Hawkins said.