By Sam Killmeyer

This month, 350 Northern Colorado joined coalition partners to launch the Divest CSU Campaign, calling for Colorado State University to divest its endowment from direct and indirect holdings in the fossil fuel industry. Sign the petition today to support this campaign

The campaign is made up of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members working together to build a more just, sustainable future. Some groups already signed on include: Larimer Alliance, Fort Collins Sustainability Group, CSU Defend Our Future, and ASCSU Environmental Affairs. If your organization would like to join on, email divestcsu [at]

The campaign is modeled after the successful Divest Harvard campaign and supports other similar campaigns across the country to hold our institutions responsible for their part in fueling the climate crisis, particularly universities. 




  1. DISCLOSE: We call on CSU to present all current direct and indirect investments in the fossil fuel industry in a clear, accessible way. The university will continue to disclose this information in an annual report. 
  2. DIVEST: The fossil fuel industry is actively responsible for the climate crisis, and CSU must release a statement declaring its commitment to divest its endowment from direct and indirect holdings in the fossil fuel industry. They must also provide a comprehensive plan, including a timeline, for how they will achieve this.
  3. REINVEST: We call on CSU to reinvest the money they are removing from the fossil fuel industry to support environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, and community-based investments. CSU will work with alumni, students, and community members to determine a new reinvestment plan that centers environmental justice and repairing damages done by the fossil fuel industry. 


We’ve had several articles about divestment recently here on the 350 Colorado blog, as well as actions this fall 2022, such as the Protest at Federal Reserve Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. In the September newsletter, volunteer Max Link wrote about the challenges of marrying financial returns with social values and the impossibility of ethical investing. We also have a Fossil Free CO PERA campaign (calling on the state to divest pension funds) as well as Defund Climate Disaster committee. If you’d like to sign up, join here!

Market solutions won’t solve the climate crisis – but we can push our institutions towards better stewardship of our collective funds. Divestment means removing your support. In the case of Divest CSU, it means removing financial support, such as stocks, bonds, or other investment funds from investments that are unethical or morally opaque.

The federal government continues to prop up the fossil fuel industry, and coal, oil, and gas received $5.9 trillion in subsidies in 2020 — or roughly $11 million every minute, according to the International Monetary Fund. 

The continued support of destructive industries by our government is frustrating, and actively contributing to the destruction of our planet, but university divestment campaigns (as well as other local divestment campaigns) are demonstrating that change can occur at a local level – and that as more institutions divest, we can, hopefully, accelerate the just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

The financial sector is funding the climate crisis, and it’s time that we pushed our institutions – particularly our local institutions – to do their part to invest in our future. Trillions of dollars have already been pulled from the fossil fuel industry, and those who divest are not only making the right moral decision, but they’re also making the right financial decision. As Bill McKibben writes in The New Yorker, even BlackRock can’t deny the benefits of divesting:

“After examining “divestment actions by hundreds of funds worldwide,” the BlackRock analysts concluded that the portfolios “experienced no negative financial impacts from divesting from fossil fuels. In fact, they found evidence of modest improvement in fund return.” 



Colorado State University has a moral obligation to invest in the future of its students as well as the future of citizens in Colorado. We are witnessing the impacts of climate change across our state, and in Fort Collins, home to CSU, the Cameron Peak Fire turned the skies over the city red for weeks. 

Removing the endowment from fossil fuel investments would be a public denouncement of the fossil fuel industry’s responsibility for the climate crisis. By divesting, CSU would educate students and the community on the industry’s destructive influence and show that there is a way forward, a way for institutions to extract themselves from the stranglehold that fossil fuels have over our culture.

Divesting from fossil fuels is in the interest of students, the Fort Collins community, and the world – and it’s also a smart financial decision too! The fossil fuel industry is being propped up by subsidies, and over the long term, as all of us continue to feel the effects of the climate crisis, fossil fuels will become a worse and worse investment strategy. 

A fossil-free world is possible, and we need everyone – including you! – to help build that world! Divestment is one (of many) strategies for building the just, sustainable world we deserve, and if you’d like to join, there’s a place for you in this movement.


Inspired to work towards other divestment campaigns? Join the 350 Colorado divestment committee, learn about the national Stop the Money Pipeline Campaign,