Check out C2C Fellow Nick Stracco leading divestment at Tulane! Keep up the good work, Taco!
Reposted from The Tulane Hullabaloo
By Kaila Lopez
A new on-campus organization, Divest Tulane, is pushing for Tulane to end its endowment investments in fossil fuel companies in order to become a greener university.
Nick Stracco, Tulane Green Club president and the founder of Divest Tulane, said that divesting in oil companies is one step that the university can take to become more environmentally conscious and protect New Orleans’ future.
“Local sea level rise is a combined effect of sea level rise from climate change and land sinking downward,” Stracco said. “[It] gives Louisiana the worst projections of land loss from sea level rise in the entire world. Tulane’s endowment currently invests in the very companies that are profiting off the climate change that fuels the destruction of Louisiana.”
Divest Tulane is a subsidiary of Fossil Free, a nationwide campaign focused on minimizing oil investment on college campuses and raising awareness about the harmful effects of fossil fuels.
Jamie Henn, the national media director for Fossil Free, said that divestment is not the only way to stop climate change, but it is an important first step.
“Fossil fuel divestment helps reframe climate change as a moral issue,” Henn said. “New Orleans is on the front lines of the climate crisis, so Tulane is exactly the type of campus where we need to be having this debate. Students are right to demand that their education isn’t funded by investments in companies that are helping fuel the next Hurricane Katrina.”
Mike Strecker, Tulane director of public relations, said that investing in oil corporations, especially those with a focus on conservation and responsible oil use, is important for the economy and the university.
“We believe the responsible use of fossil fuels is a necessary path to a future when technological advances will enable renewable fuels to supply the majority of our country’s energy needs,” Strecker said. “Tulane researchers are currently working to create and refine such technologies. Tulane is also committed to green building and sustainability in all of its operations.”
Despite the current investments in oil, the university has received recognition for its sustainability efforts. The Louisiana chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council named Tulane an Operational Excellence Champion and the Arbor Foundation named the university a Tree Campus USA University for its commitment to environmental stewardship.
Stracco, however, said he believes that it is Tulane’s responsibility to further its commitment to the environment by divesting in oil.
“Tulane claims to empower New Orleans,” Stracco said. “To make this claim while investing in the very companies that will see this city underwater in 100 years is contradictory and misleading. We have more of a stake in climate change than any other school in the country. It is our responsibility to the beautiful city and state we are so lucky to call home.”