Mission Statement: Students for Renewable Energy takes action to move beyond fossil fuels in a just transition toward sustainable energy systems by engaging the community through education and advocacy for climate justice.
What We Do: Our priorities as a club are as follows:
1. Stop The Bad: We are working to block North America’s largest proposed coal terminal, divest Western Washington University’s endowment from fossil fuels, and pass an Associated Students resolution against all new fossil fuel infrastructure.
2. Build The New: We are educating the community about renewable energy, engaging in renewable energy projects, and supporting a statewide carbon pricing initiative that reinvests in our communities.
3. Solidarity: We support indigenous land defenders who are fighting against resource extraction and colonial threats to their sovereignty. Furthermore, we act in solidarity with other movements to foster links between diverse issues and the need for global environmental and social justice.
Stop the Bad: The science on climate change is clear - to avoid a future of unthinkable human suffering, we need to keep 80% of fossil fuel reserves in the ground. This means no new fossil fuel infrastructure and ending the unchecked domination of our democratic institutions by fossil-fuel interests.
Fossil Fuel Divestment Divestment is an international movement to revoke the social license of the fossil fuel industry by removing investments, stocks, and bonds from investment portfolios of institutions, cities, and even countries. Western needs to align its values with its investments and stop investing in the fossil fuel industry whose bottom-line relies upon the continued use of fossil fuels. We are urging the Western Foundation to stop investing in companies that treat communities like sacrifice zones and have systematically violated the rights of indigenous peoples. These investments are a bet against the public’s well being.
Blocking North America’s Largest Proposed Coal Terminal The coal industry wants to build North America’s largest proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, and ship 48 million tons of coal to China a year. The terminal would be built on a sacred site of the Lummi Nation and violate their treaty rights. Fuck this project, no coal terminal is being built here.
Build the New: As we transition to a sustainable energy economy, we need to create a new economy that is more than green, but also just and equitable. This means incentivizing renewables both economically and politically, ensuring the communities getting the worst deal in the current system benefit the most, and rethinking our relationship with nature.
Lobbying for Renewable Energy We believe in order to best transition away from fossil fuels, policies need to be put in place to incentivize renewable energy systems. Some sources report fossil fuel subsidies being between $10 and $52 billion dollars every year. We believe these subsidies should be revoked and instead go toward incentivizing renewable energy. We lobby for bills such as the solar tax incentive credit, and against the wind moratorium in Whatcom County.
Sustainable Action Fund The Sustainable Action Fund began as the Green Energy Fee over ten years ago. This fund, setup by Students for Renewable Energy provides Western’s campus with 100% renewable energy offset credits. The fund also has approximately $300,000 per year available to students who want to create a sustainable project on Western’s campus. Some of these projects include light retrofits, solar panels on the Environmental Studies building, and water bottle refill stations.
Solidarity: The environmental and climate justice movements do not operate in a bubble; they touch every aspect of our lives from worker’s rights to women’s rights. Marginalized communities including low income communities, communities of color, and indigenous people are the communities that are most affected by climate change. Acting in solidarity with other movements in our community is necessary to foster the link between these issues and the goal of global justice for all.
Indigenous Resistance We act in solidarity with indigenous land defenders who do not want their land to become sacrifice zones for fossil fuel corporations’ bottom lines. We are ready and willing to support Lummi Nation in resisting the Cherry Point coal terminal. We also act in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en Camp, a non-violent occupation of Unceded Unist’ot’en territory in northern British Columbia.
Solidarity Across Movements We understand that social justice issues are commonly fighting the same systems of oppression as the environment. We acknowledge the fact that those who are most affected by climate change are people of color, women, indigenous communities, and other marginalized identities. We strive to connect these movements and act in solidarity with each other both on campus and in the larger communities we belong to.