Formal Statement in Response to Smith College’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Announcement

On the morning of Friday, October 18th, Smith College announced its plan to divest from fossil fuels. The college plans to accomplish this by excluding future investments with fossil fuel-specific managers, and phasing out current investments over the next 15 years. The founding objective of the Divest Smith College campaign was to get a commitment from Smith to divest the endowment from fossil fuels, and we are beyond thrilled that Smith has chosen to  take this historic step and lead with us in the fight for climate justice. We congratulate the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility, the Investment Committee, and the full Board of Trustees on making this happen. 


Our deepest gratitude goes out to the Smith student body, alums, faculty, staff, and student organizations who supported this campaign. We are also sincerely thankful for the support of Extinction Rebellion Western Mass, Climate Action Now, Nuclear Ban US, the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life at Smith, the Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, and Sunrise Northampton. We all made this happen. We look forward to continuing to build relationships as a community and a movement.


We are heartened by Smith’s responsiveness to student concerns and commitment to addressing climate inequity, such as the Year on Climate Change and the plan for carbon neutrality by 2030. We also acknowledge that this decision is not radical, as fossil fuel divestment is financially prudent in the long term, and that this decision shows that Smith has the capacity to keep taking steps in the right direction. Therefore, we hope to receive a commitment from Smith to collaborate with Divest Smith College and the entire student body and community on plans for reinvestment as divestment is carried out. Beyond this, we look forward to seeing more community involvement in future decisions made by the administration that affect students, staff, faculty, and residents of the Pioneer Valley. 

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