TORONTO, ON — Following the release of a motion to maintain the university’s fossil fuel investments submitted to the UBC Board of Governors Finance Committee, the University of Toronto Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign issued the following statement:
“We’re disappointed to hear that UBC’s administration is choosing to go against the university’s own faculty, students, and research, as well as the recent international commitments coming out of COP21 in Paris, by saying ‘no’ to fossil fuel divestment. While U of T appointed a committee from diverse academic backgrounds which welcomed and seriously considered submissions from the campus community and outside experts, UBC engaged in a secretive, closed door decision-making process. The governance of UBC has experienced some unusual disturbances and disruptions in the past year, which raises questions about the degree to which UBC can serve as a model for good governance. It would be unfortunate for Canadian university administrators to dismiss U of T’s work on this issue by following UBC’s path.
Despite some universities’ initial rejection of divestment from tobacco firms in the 90s, few remain invested now. UBC’s administration may be acting as a laggard on the issue of divestment from fossil fuels, but it’s not too late for other Canadian universities to be leaders — or for UBC to listen to its stakeholders. We hope when U of T President Meric Gertler makes his decision in March, our university will align its investments with its values, research, and campus commitments to sustainability.”
For more information, please contact:
Sam Harrison, Divestment Campaign Communications Coordinator, U of T Engineering Student