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Students Call for UNM Fossil Fuels Divestment

November 5, 2021 –At the end of October, University of New Mexico students with UNM LEAF (Leaders for Environmental Action and Foresight) filed a complaint with New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas. They’re asking Balderas to investigate if the UNM Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization, is violating state law by continuing to invest in fossil fuels, knowing that the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change. 

The divestment movement is larger than just at UNM. Harvard University, The University of California, Cornell and Brown universities are among the high-profile colleges and universities to agree to divest their endowments from fossil fuels. 

Last Friday, students also held a rally and protest, marching to the offices of UNM President Garnett Stokes, calling for divestment and serious action on climate change.

Statement from UNM President Garnett S. Stokes:

“Like many universities, we know that we must be more ambitious as climate action leaders, which includes reducing our own climate impacts. Climate action is a significant part of our UNM 2040 planning, which will be reflected in broad institutional priorities that result in meaningful and visible change. We appreciate the commitment of our student and community activists voicing their desire to see the UNM Foundation immediately divest from fossil fuels. I agree that we need a long-term comprehensive plan that would examine other strategies such as negative screening (no new investments in fossil-fuel-related industries) and positive screening (investment in renewable energy and ecologically sustainable industries). Climate action is the priority, and specific tactics and actions that support that priority need to be incorporated into long-term strategy, rather than standing alone.”

Correspondent: Laura Paskus

Emily Phan, UNM Student
Paula Noriega, UNM Student
Sofia Jenkins-Nieto, UNM LEAF (Leaders for Environmental Action and Foresight) 
Raven Alcott, Pueblo of San Ildefonso, UNM student

For More Information:

Complaint: UNM Foundation invests in fossil fuels while its board members work in the industrySource New Mexico