The 350 Madison Divestment Campaign has taken on various targets, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and local government, to banks, credit unions, and personal investments. Whatever the target, our goal is to:
- Challenge the legitimacy of—indeed, stigmatize—the fossil fuel industry by highlighting its singularly destructive impact and the moral dimensions of the climate crisis;
- Undercut the political power of the fossil fuel lobby, making it easier for politicians to take action; and
- Warn investors that fossil fuels are a risky investment, likely to become stranded assets if the world’s nations fulfill their pledge to keep global warming below 2° Celsius by sharply cutting carbon emissions.
Divestment from Banks Financing Pipelines
- It does not provide financing for the extraction or holding of fossil fuel assets;
- Its investment portfolio does not include the securities of fossil fuel companies; and
- It provides members with socially responsible investment options.
The campaign continues to push UWCU to go further. Specifically, we’re asking the credit union to help members use their personal investments to support clean energy companies and invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation in their homes and businesses.
We have also targeted the banks that underwrite pipeline construction and expansion. In December 2016, more than 100 supporters joined us in a #NoDAPL solidarity action targeting the banks financing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Meeting at Madison’s Army Corps of Engineers office, we first demanded that the Army Corps immediately rescind the eviction notice that was endangering thousands of water protectors at Standing Rock. We then walked to nearby US Bank and Wells Fargo branches to present our demand that they cease financing the pipeline.
City and State Divestment
In April 2013, Madison’s Mayor Paul Soglin joined nine other mayors around the country in “urging their cities to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies because of the industry’s responsibility for the climate crisis.” See their press release here and a news story here. Kudos to Mayor Soglin for placing the City of Madison out front as a leader on divestment! The Madison City Council voted in support of institutional divestment on July 2, 2013. See the 350 Madison press release here and the text of the resolution here.
In July 2014, the City of Monona passed a resolution supporting practices that would reduce the city’s dependence on fossil fuels.
The 350 Madison Divestment Campaign has also urged the trustees of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) to divest from all direct ownership in the 100 companies with the largest known reserves of coal and the 100 companies with the largest known reserves of oil and natural gas. The SWIB is the 30th largest institutional investor in the world with more than $80 billion in assets.
Sign the petition to divest Wisconsin public employee retirement funds, whose target is the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), the 30th largest institutional investor in the world with more than $80 billion in assets.
- Fossil Free Funds: Are your savings invested in fossil fuels? (enables you to search to determine if your money is being used to extract and consume fossil fuels and to identify US fossil-free, socially responsible funds)
- Green Century Funds (see “Make a Clean Break, Your Guide to Fossil Free Investing”)
- Fossil Free: Your Roadmap to Divestment
- 350 Madison: Reinvestment Alternatives for Individuals
- Mazaska Talks: Divest Yourself
- DivestInvest for Individuals