on Divest U of T
by Jennifer Hyc
· January 22, 2016 8:00 AM
Dear University of Toronto,
At the COP21 Climate Conference in Paris, world leaders agreed to try and keep global warming below a 1.5°C threshold. This target is necessary to protect vulnerable populations and future generations from the worst effects of climate change.
This threshold was reiterated by the University committee who recommended targeted divestment from fossil fuel companies whose plans will violate a 1.5°C threshold.
The signed alumni believe UofT must now stand up for alumni by advocating for fossil fuel divestment
Currently, the University invests some of its assets in fossil fuel companies. These companies’ business plans blatantly disregard the 1.5°C threshold of warming, threatening the planet and the future of the University's students.
To avert this devastation, much of these companies proven fossil fuel reserves must stay underground. Either their proven reserves will become stranded assets, or we will face runaway climate change.
Remaining invested in fossil fuel companies is thus unsound financially and ethically. Furthermore, many fossil fuel companies violate the rights of Indigenous peoples to free, prior, and informed consent to projects on their land. Many companies additionally disregard the health and safety of communities near or downstream from sites of fossil fuel extraction and transportation.
We therefore call on the UofT to divest.
As an institution dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and preparing students for the future, UofT cannot sit back and wait for others to take action on climate.
As alumni, we insist that our alma mater stand on the right side of history now.