By Karina Mazhukhina | Apr 15, 2016

Update 4/18: Confronting Climate Change was named one of the seven 2016 Husky Green Award winners.

In the spring of 2015, the student group Confronting Climate Change - also known as Divest UW - celebrated a victory when the University of Washington's Board of Regents voted to divest from coal companies

The move was one that the group had fought for. In 2012, Divest UW delivered a petition to then-UW president Michael Young requesting fossil fuel divestment. Afterward, the students continued to press the UW administration, leading to the divestment vote.

Confronting Climate Change isn't content with stopping there. Alex Lenferna, one of the key leaders in Confronting Climate Change, has done a lot of work to put a price on carbon pollution in Washington state. Lenferna, including other team members from the group, helped develop I-732, an initiative that will promote cleaner energy and make polluting more expensive. This initiative will be in the November 2016 ballot. 

“Players like the fossil fuel industry are corrupting public understanding and our political system by spending billions of dollars on misinformation, lobbying and advocacy campaigns aimed at rolling back and blocking progress on climate change, said Lenferna. “We have the policies and technologies needed to address this challenge, but we need to push back against the entrenched interests holding us back from using them.” 

He added, “Alongside preventing widespread detrimental impacts on ecosystems across the globe, addressing climate change is one of the most important ways to ensure we do not deepen global injustices and worsen global poverty and inequality.” 

The Husky Green Awards recognize the top environmental leaders at the University of Washington. Individuals or groups from all UW campuses are nominated by faculty, staff and students. We'll be featuring many of the 2016 nominees on the blog this month. The winners will be announced on April 18, with an award ceremony during the April 22 Earth Day celebrations on Red Square.