March 03, 2016
Contact: Ben Donato-Woodger

Community Response

Thursday February 25, 2016 | For Immediate Release

University of Toronto President Expected to Divest from Majority of Fossil Fuel Companies Before March 31st:

U of T would be the first Canadian university to reject fossil fuel investments because of climate change


University of Toronto community members urged U of T President Gertler to accept his committee's recommendation for targeted divestment, that was announced in December 2015, by delivering a document called the Community Response. If the President accepts his committee's recommendation, UofT will be the first university in Canada to divest its shares in companies that work in the tar sands and risk causing runaway climate change.

The Community Response demonstrates that fossil fuel companies such as Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Total, Talisman Energy, in addition to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers meet the committee's recommended criteria for fossil fuel divestment. These companies meet this criteria because they have either funded organizations who deny climate science, or because they derive more than 10% of their revenue from unconventional sources such as the tar sands or fracking.

A strong show of support for fossil fuel divestment throughout the U of T community and communications with the President's office underpin the expectation that President Gertler will divest. He has told, the student group leading the divestment campaign that he will make a decision before March 31st. He has already been called to divest fossil fuels by all student unions at U of T, the U of T Faculty Association, 250+ alumni, and prominent alumni such as David Suzuki and Naomi Klein.


"The Committee recommendation left the President still needing to define aggressive extraction. Our Community Response argues fossil fuel firms whose shares will lose more than 10% of their total value according to a 1.5 ºC carbon budget commit aggressive extraction. This is the least U of T must do to play its role in fulfilling the Paris Climate Agreement by ensuring fossil fuel companies’ reserves become stranded assets.” 

Jennifer Tran,

4th Year Music Student



“The Committee’s recommendation failed to discuss fossil fuel companies who violate Indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior, and informed consent to projects on their land. U of T should look to Chemical Valley Sarnia and Beaver Lake Cree Nation and publicly say it is divesting from fossil fuel companies in part because they disregard indigenous rights.”

Amil Davis,







“My University is funding companies driving climate change and threatening my future. But U of T has a chance to make me proud by divesting from fossil fuel companies and getting on the right side of history.”

Sinéad Dunphy,

3rd Year, Human Biology and English




U of T Community Response to the Report of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Committee

Advisory Committee Recommendation for Targeted Fossil Fuel Divestment


Media Contact

Milan Ilnyckyj 4th Year Political Science PhD candidate

[email protected] 416-732-6922