On June 7th, 2018, the Committee on Finance and Administration of the Board of Directors of Georgetown voted for divestment from tar sands. The announcement stated that the board “supported a recommendation to use reasonable efforts to avoid investments in companies whose principal business is the extraction of bituminous sands (“tar sands”) for use in energy production.”
The recommendation comes after GU Fossil Free (GUFF) submitted a proposal in November 2017 advocating to divest the endowment from companies active in tar sands extraction in Alberta, Canada. The proposal cites social, environmental, and financial arguments against investing in tar sands companies.
This vote comes as a major success for GU Fossil Free and the divestment movement at Georgetown. Tar sands divestment marks the third time in the past few years that Georgetown has listened to its students’ input on the endowment through proposals to CISR, after the divestment from coal in 2015 and private prisons in 2017.
“As a freshman, I was surprised at how slow change can be in Georgetown institutions. This vote is a change for the better, and it’s a symbol that change can happen at Georgetown. At the same time, it’s a symbol that we need to keep fighting. We won’t stop now. This is not the end,” Ezequiel Espiricueta (COL ’21), a core GUFF member said.