A Debate Over Fossil Fuel Divestment

As it stands, currently UIUC publicly endorses sustainability and publicly condemns the fossil fuel industry while behind closed doors we hold partial ownership in this destructive institution and  directly benefit from the expansion of the coal industry and coal extraction, combustion, and disposal

-UIUC Beyond Coal Co-President, Jackie Genova

Last week, Beyond Coal hosted a debate at the University of Illinois Union. Members Drew O’Bryan, Jackie Genova, and Harry Mickalide debated the University Debate Team about the advantages and disadvantages of divesting the University endowment from coal mining and utilities.  Overall, the affirmative team for divestment won in total votes.

Support for divestment is growing at the university. Professors Zsuza Gille and Jody Endres spoke in favor of the movement after the debate along with a number of comments from supportive students and community members. As well, Beyond Coal has been actively working with the Student Senate to pass two resolutions through the Academic Senate in favor of fossil fuel divestment and the creation of a socially responsible investment committee.

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