By Dac Collins
A growing number of institutions around the world are committing to divest from fossil fuels. In the United States, more than thirty municipal governments from Maine to Oregon have passed resolutions to cut financial ties with the fossil fuel industry in order to show their opposition to corporations that contribute to climate change.
On Feb. 20, after a year-long campaign led by students to urge the school’s administration to combat climate change, the trustees of Brevard College in Brevard, N.C., voted to withdraw all investments in companies that profit from the extraction of petroleum, coal and natural gas by 2018. This move makes the liberal arts college the first academic institution in the Southeast to take steps towards divestment.
PNC Financial, the seventh-largest bank in the country, announced at the beginning of March that it will no longer finance individual mountaintop removal projects or coal mining companies that utilize mountaintop removal to extract 25 percent or more of their coal. A number of other coal funding sources, such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, have also pledged to discontinue their support of mountaintop removal projects.