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Fossil fuel (copy)

An international movement supporting the divestment in fossil fuels by public institutions is gaining ground at UW-Madison.

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The movement to divest from fossil fuels gained ground at University of Wisconsin-Madison last week, when student government went on record urging the UW Foundation to stop investing in companies profiting from fossil fuels.

Associated Students of Madison passed a resolution Wednesday encouraging development of a divestment plan, campus newspapers report.

The vote came after a presentation by the Fossil Fuel UW Coalition, whose members characterized the issue as a moral concern affecting future generations, the Badger Herald reported.

More than 380 divestment campaigns are underway on campuses worldwide and nine different universities have campaigns as well as 23 cities and 23 religious institutions, coalition member Teresa Arrate told AMS members.

Madison and Dane County have both passed resolutions supporting an end to investment in fossil fuel companies.

Divestment groups have also started at UW System schools such as UW-La Crosse, UW-Steven’s Point, UW-Green Bay, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls, the presenters said.

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The 350 Madison Climate Action Team, a community group, launched an online petition that encourages students and faculty to support divestment. Arrate said 350 Madison reports that more than 90 members of the UW faculty co-signed, as well as more than 1,400 UW students.

Fossil Fuel UW Coalition representative Kaja Rebane said divestment calls for a strategic campaign that begins by stimulating public conversation, the Daily Cardinal reported.

“We have a chance to make a difference,” Rebane said.