Letter to the Editor | UI ignores iCAP promises by not divesting


The Daily Illini File Photo

Water vapor comes out of the Abbott power plant’s main chimneys. The University of Illinois is ignoring their commitment to the Illinois Climate Action Plan 2020 (iCAP) by making empty promises.

By Maria Maring

The University pledged to fully divest from fossil fuels by 2025 in the Illinois Climate Action Plan 2020. This means the University would un-invest holdings in fossil fuel companies and reinvest that money in other areas. Students have been demanding divestment from fossil fuels since 2009. In 2019, more than 75% of the student body voted in support of divestment.

The iCAP’s glaring flaw? It’s a nonbinding document, and the administration’s lack of action suggests that they made empty divestment promises.

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Right now, the University of Illinois System (public funds) and the University of Illinois Foundation (private donations) have over $230 million invested in fossil fuels. Universities all over the world have already fully divested or announced the intent: Harvard, the Minnesota and California systems, Dartmouth, etc. If the University is such a leader and innovator, why are we dragging our feet while our peers leave us in the dust? As the effects of climate change hit ever closer to home, it’s evident there’s no time to lose. The University disregards the desires and well-being of its people while it selfishly chases dirty profits.

We as staff, students, faculty and community members cannot let this issue fall to the wayside. Read up on the environmental and human health implications of not divesting. Question why the University isn’t listening to student voices. Reach out to Students for Environmental Concerns ([email protected]) if you are interested in joining the effort. The University must do better.

Maria is a senior in LAS.

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