UNITY, Maine — Unity College is the first school in the United States to divest from fossil fuels. This means that none of the college’s investments have ties to the fossil fuel industry. The announcement caused 350 Mainers to cheer. 350 Maine is an off-shoot of 350.org, a grassroots organization founded to build a movement to solve the climate crisis.
350 Maine celebrates Unity College’s fossil fuel divestment status
350.org founder Bill McKibben said, “President Mulkey and the board of trustees are leading the way.”
“Maine’s state motto is ‘Dirigo’ or ‘I lead,’ and I welcome this opportunity for Maine to lead the nation in fossil fuel divestment. Now the people of Maine need to challenge all Maine’s colleges, universities and schools to follow Unity College’s lead,” said Read Brugger, Team 350 Maine’s divestment campaign contact.
Unity College President Stephen Mulkey said in a recent press release, “We must be willing to lead by example. … We will encourage those who work in higher education to bravely step out from behind manicured, taxpayer funded hedges, and do what needs to be done.”
The divestment campaign is the latest focus of 350.org, which spearheaded recent and continuing opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and fossil fuel subsidies. The campaign is modeled on the divestment campaign used by colleges and universities in the 1960s to pressure South Africa to dismantle its apartheid system.
McKibben is now spreading the word about divestment via his Do The Math tour, which starts on the East Coast in Portland, Maine, on Nov. 13. Tickets for the event at the State Theater are still available. The divestment campaign was the focus of a June article in Rolling Stone magazine, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.”
Organizations and institutions seeking help with divesting from fossil fuels can reach Brugger at email@example.com or 207-382-6477.