On OCTOBER 26TH, 2021, UNM LEAF OFFICIALLY FILED OUR DIVESTMENT COMPLAINT TO NEW MEXICO'S ATTORNEY GENERAL HECTOR BALADERAS.
What is divestment?
The University of New Mexico Foundation works to fund UNM and its future through investing and soliciting philanthropic donations. The UNMF operates as a non-profit and seeks to "to advance education, research and health for the benefit of our community and the world."
Yet an estimated $32 million of the Foundation’s $579 million Consolidated Investment Fund (or Endowment) is invested in the fossil fuel industry, an industry that decidedly is not going to create long-term benefit for our community or globe.
UNM cannot continue investing in injustice and environmental degradation. UNM must divest from extractive industries to invest in all our futures.
We filed our divestment complaint on October 26th, 2021 to New Mexico's Attorney General Hector Balderas. The complaint, written with the assistance of the Climate Defense Project, calls on Attorney General Hector Balderas to investigate whether the UNM Foundation, as a non-profit public charity, has violated the New Mexico Uniform Prudential Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) by investing contrary to its charitable mission.
At issue is an estimated $32 million of the Foundation’s $579 million Consolidated Investment Fund (or Endowment) that is invested in fossil fuels. The complaint has gathered over 220 signatures from community members, UNM faculty, staff, and students, climate scientists, and organizations.
More on divestment, its logistics, and its benefits:
HOW TO HELP
Sign yourself or your organization on to the complaint
Write a letter of support for our complaint! Community engagement shows how significantly we are all taking this issue and press for swifter and more decisive action.
A sample script:
"Dear Attorney General Balderas,
My name is ______. I am a [student/staff member/professor/etc.]at UNM and I am concerned about UNM’s fossil fuel investments.
I am writing to ask you to please consider UNM LEAF's complaint about the UNM Foundation's investments in fossil fuels being in violation of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act. The Foundation should not be investing in companies that are contrary to UNM missions and values and that threaten the future of UNM students and community members.
[Closing thoughts or anything you want to add:
Any unique perspective you might have on the climate crisis
Information you want the AG's office to hear]
[Your name and/or organization]"
Please mail any letters to
Office of The Attorney General
P.O. Drawer 1508
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1508
Climate change is a threat to us all, especially here in New Mexico. We are grateful to be part of the resistance against the destructive fossil fuel industry in our state, and for the continuous solidarity from our community.
We give many thanks to the attorneys at the Climate Defense Project, as well as student organizers with Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, who helped us write the complaint and allowed us to include our unique perspectives as citizens of New Mexico. Without them and all our community members who supported our efforts, we could not have created the claim that we did.