Movement to Push Public Universities to Divest From Fossil Fuels

Movement to Push Public Universities to Divest From Fossil Fuels

The increasing number of alarms about the dangers of climate change could severely restrict future access to fossil resources. An unavoidable choice between energy and the environment may result in significant economic and ecological calamities. Preventing this calamity can be a difficult task, given that fossil fuel resources account for a substantial portion of the world’s energy supply and that climate variance is mainly driven by the buildup of excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. CO2 is an unavoidable byproduct of the use of fossil fuels and cannot be avoided. Therefore, using fossil fuels tends to be at odds with the general public’s concern about environmental protection. Every year, the impossibility of completely replacing fossil fuels is underlined more and more. This is especially true now. On the other hand, the entire transition is critical in terms of stabilizing the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere.

Currently, the burning of fossil fuels is destroying the earth. With so many massive economies throughout the world, someone needs to take the initiative on renewable energy sources to save the planet. Students at universities have the potential to set the course for the future of renewable resources. As a result of the significant modification in the global climate, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable resources will be required in the not-too-distant future (Goodin, 1987). Students at universities have a significant carbon impact and a necessary global purchase of fossil fuels from other countries. They must clear the way for the exploration and development of renewable energy sources and technologies. The policy-based campaign to encourage public institutions to divest from fossil fuels is gaining momentum.

The policy-based effort to convince political universities to divest from fossil energy is gaining traction. The university student is a crucial factor in shaping the future since they will be providing knowledge to the individuals or organizations around them, which will impact the actions of those in their immediate vicinity. University students’ use will be highly beneficial because many of them are well-versed in the knowledge and abilities necessary to assist in the devastation caused by fossil fuels. Furthermore, they are aware of the negative impacts of fossil fuels on the environment and how to avoid them.

It is essential to do all possible to lessen the threat of climate change; nevertheless, if the only thing individuals are doing is divesting from the fossil fuel sector, this is not enough. Disinvesting does not accomplish nearly as much as we need to; it makes a bit of a financial dent and has no immediate influence on greenhouse gas emissions, which is a problem. Because the world will always rely on fossil fuels, and because people are the most significant contributors to the problem, we are responsible for conducting research, raising awareness, and reaching out to policymakers and other decision-makers. It would be more beneficial to use a more direct strategy that will produce results more quickly. When it comes to the number of investors in the coal sector, more statistics would have helped make the articles more satisfying and perhaps even sway the public’s opinion on the subject. Global warming is a problem that students must address as it continues to rise insignificance. Humans are the starting point for mitigation since individuals bear a significant amount of responsibility. Starting with something as simple as urging various financial institutions to divest their holdings in coal businesses can assist in moving the process in the right direction. Still, it cannot be done in its entirety.

Law professor Ronald Dworkin has argued that individual rights have the power to override the non-central interests of others. Public policy questions that do not infringe rights can be effectively decided based on practical considerations and are properly the responsibility of legislative bodies (Salikov & Zhavoronkov, 2017). On the other hand, when policies jeopardize central interests, courts are relied upon to preserve individual liberties and interests. To evaluate whether or not rights are being infringed, and if so, to enforce those rights by overruling, or “trumping,” practical policy, the judiciary’s role is crucial in society. Although many individuals, including environmentalists, have labeled efforts to stop college investment in coal corporations as “useless,” numerous student groups have been advocating for it. Financially, the disinvestment makes little difference, and it has been documented that it has no direct impact on “the capping of greenhouse gas emissions.” Still, it may be effective in marginally lessening the threat of climate change by reducing emissions. Discussions on what is the right move for these institutions to do in terms of disinvesting from fossil fuel firms have shown many views.

People and organizations they interact with will be influenced by their knowledge and experience, which is why university students are critical to the future’s development. As a result, the campaign will have a more significant impact if the bank joins as a substantial player. Salikov & Zhavoronkov (2017) notes that The university impacts the bank because students from the university will be able to integrate into the community. For this reason, banks might use university students as a potential customer base for divesting from fossil fuels. There is no longer any economic or moral importance to investing in the fossil fuel sector. The risk of stranded fossil fuel assets is increasing due to global climate change mitigation policies, social and political pressure on the government to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, declining demand for coal, and falling costs of renewable energy sources. Educating pupils on the issue of climate change calamity while profiting from financial assistance to the most significant contributor to the problem is pointless from a moral standpoint.

Scientists had already decided that human-caused climate change would result from the use of fossil fuels in the 1970s when they were still in their infancy. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the primary cause of global warming. The remedy can be found even if the problem is people themselves. While university officials across the country have frequently claimed that they are aware of the issue at hand, Goodin, (1987) argues that these leaders are working hard to comprehend climate change “only to participate in a sector whose activities almost ensure” it. Universities would not be naive enough to invest in enterprises that exacerbate the problem of climate change if they were genuinely concerned about it. Although students are right to be worried about climate change, Robert argues that their focus should not be on a drive to divest from coal corporations. When institutions divest, other investors take their place, and the capital of fossil fuel corporations would not be affected, he says. People should focus their efforts on “genuine contributions to the subject of climate change that have actual potential to make a difference,” such as research, educating awareness, and outreach to policymakers.

The new rule includes a strategy of complete divestment from fossil fuels to encourage businesses and governments to focus on sustainable development. Divestment was a popular movement around the world, as well. More and more people and organizations are removing their investments in fossil fuel exploration, mining, or financing from their portfolios, and this trend is expected to continue. Making a financial or ethical bet on the fossil fuel business is no longer worthwhile. Strained fossil fuel assets are increasingly at risk due to global climate change mitigation policies, government social and political pressure to eliminate fossil fuels subsidies, and a falling market for coal. At the same time, renewable energy costs continue to fall. From a moral standpoint, it makes no sense for a climate change catastrophe education organization to benefit financially by providing support to the primary culprit.

Conclusively, students can offer various broad obligations of compensatory justice, but it is difficult to describe the exact responsibilities that their approach entails. First and foremost, they owe it to future generations to make concerted efforts to discover and develop new energy sources. Future generations could be put at risk if students continue to rely on fossil fuels and nuclear power. Justice necessitates that people reduce that danger, and alternative energy investments are a good-faith move in this direction. Such justifications could justify government spending on fusion and renewable energy research. As a second point, students have to preserve nonrenewable resources. By wasting resources that future generations will require, they make it more difficult for them to enjoy a standard of living on par with them. This is especially true given the technology we already have to boost energy efficiency dramatically. Last but not least, it appears that students have a responsibility to implement population programs and alter consumption habits to reduce global energy demand over the long haul.


Goodin, R. E. (1987). Civil disobedience and nuclear protest. Political Studies35(3), 461-466.

Salikov, A., & Zhavoronkov, A. (2017). The public realm and revolution: Hannah Arendt between theory and praxis. Estudos Ibero-Americanos43(3), 513-523.

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