As a climate action organization, we are pursuing fossil fuel divestment because it refocuses the abstract challenge of climate change as something that exists in our immediate local institutions.
Divestment fights climate change because we attack the social license of the fossil fuel industry. By social license, we are talking about how it is now socially and politically acceptable to most people for fossil fuel corporations to extract dirty energy. And for our institutions to be invested in them. We want to make supporting the fossil fuel industry socially and politically unacceptable.
Attacking this license is taking away investor confidence in the fossil fuel industry. This means every new divestment increases the risks and costs of fossil fuel production. Increased costs will fossil fuel corporations to stop expanding their dirty projects.
UofT would be the first University in Canada to divest from fossil fuels. This would motivate the campaigns at UBC and McGill. It would inspiring more divestment campaigns in all Canadian universities. It will make national news that Canada's most prestigious University has realized that fossil fuels are an immoral and unprofitable investment.