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.

Divest UW

Since 350 Madison’s inception in 2012, the Divestment Campaign has been urging the University of Wisconsin–Madison to divest from enterprises that extract, transport, process, or distribute fossil fuels. Click here for a history of our efforts.

Divestment from Banks Financing Pipelines

Photo: Overpass Light Brigade

In 2017, the Divestment Campaign persuaded the University of Wisconsin Credit Union (UWCU) to state publicly that:

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

Photo: Overpass Light Brigade

Photo: Overpass Light Brigade

The Dane County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pass their divestment resolution on June 6, 2013, becoming the first county in the US (that we know of) to do so. See the 350 Madison press release here and the text of the resolution here. We received nice local media coverage from NBC affiliate WMTV.

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.

Divestment is a key focus of the Mayors Innovation Project. See the project’s rationale for a city divestment strategy, a list of cities that have divested, and sample divestment resolutions here.

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.

Personal Divestment

Photo: Overpass Light Brigade

If you’d like to move your own personal investments to funds that don’t include fossil fuel companies, check out these resources on how to do it:

Tar Sands

The Tar Sands Campaign is fighting Enbridge tar sands pipelines in Wisconsin. Our aims are to block expansion of Line 61 and to halt plans for an adjacent Line 66. We support efforts led by those most impacted, including tribes, landowners, and affected community members.

Divestment

The Divestment Team works to convince institutions that investments in fossil fuels are not only ethically and fiscally irresponsible, but are literally wrecking the planet we call home—all for profit. We are currently focusing on the banks that provide funds for pipeline projects.

Community Energy

The Community Energy Campaign focuses on taking responsibility for our own fossil fuel use. We work to create and change policies that impact our energy use and nurture a culture of reducing energy use and using clean, renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint.

Support Us!

Please help us fight to protect a livable world for you and your family! We appreciate your financial contribution of any size. Your support helps us to carry on our work. Thank you for giving!