Fossil fuel divestment campaign hits Toronto:

Students urge U of T to “sell Shell”

TORONTO- In 2007, U of T was the first university in Canada to divest from the tobacco industry, becoming a leader in responsible investment. Today, they have another chance to become Canadian leaders. This week Toronto350.org kicked off their humorous Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign, specifically targeting the University of Toronto’s largest and most controversial investment, Shell. In a few short hours, telling the story of Santa’s workshop flooding due to arctic ice melt, the team collected over 200 student signatures, urging the university to “sell Shell”. The campaign is not over. Toronto350, an official U of T group- part of the global 350 movement, plans to get a few thousand signatures before delivering their petition. Judging by their current signature support rate of 1 signature every 2 minutes, their campaign is off to a very good start.

The Shell stock comprises the universities single largest holding of corporate equity, with $9.84 million invested. Shell is an especially problematic company due to its long record of environmental and human rights abuses, as well as its involvement in a number of high risk ventures, including the expansion of the Alberta oil sands and arctic drilling, which means game over Santa.

View photos from the event here.

“The University of Toronto is heavily invested in the fossil fuel industry. Shell stock comprises the university s single largest holding of corporate equity, with $9.84 million invested. This represents less than 1% of the university's total stock investment.”Toronto350.org Divestment Petition

2011 Carbon Dioxide levels reaches 390ppm (40ppm more than safe maximum):

“Globally averaged mole fractions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) reached new highs in 2011...Carbon Dioxide levels in 2011 reached 390.9±0.1ppm [parts per million]”WMO Global Atmosphere Watch Programme Report 2011

From COP 18 Doha, Qatar:

“Arctic sea ice reached a new record low ...the alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far- reaching changes taking place on Earth’s oceans and biosphere. Climate change is taking place before our eyes”WMO Secretary General Michel Jarrud

List of securities from U of T website

  • $9.84 million invested in Shell,
  • 7.8M in British Petroleum,
  • 4 M in Petroleo Brasileiro,
  • 3.2M in Chevron,
  • 2.5M in Suncor (included in both their Canadian and international lists of securities),
  • 2.3M in Cenovus Energy Inc,
  • 2.3M in Conocophillips,
  • 1.6M in ExxonMobil,
  • 1.5M in Painted Pony Petroleum,
  • 1.3M in Enbridge,
  • 1.1M in Talisman Energy, and
  • 96M in the Blackrock CDN MSCI EAFE Index Fund, which almost certainly includes investments in fossil fuel stocks.

Source: http://www.utam.utoronto.ca/Page20431.aspx

350 is... the safe limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, measured in parts per million, above which the planet is in a state of climate crisis. Our work, as part of a global group active in 188 countries, is to reduce dangerous carbon emissions by building a grassroots movement. We work towards moving away from fossil fuels and harmful land use practices, helping jump-start a clean energy economy-- in the process, transforming our world into a livable, joyful and just place.