Tag: Fossil fuels

What is divestment?

On Sept. 12, the McGill Senate voted to support divestment from fossil fuels. While the term ‘divestment’ is ubiquitous on McGill’s campus, its meaning and implications remain foggy to many. To maintain financial stability, the Senate reports that McGill invests part of its $1.6 billion endowment into fossil fuel firms. […]

Senate should not have to overstep to amplify student voices

On Sept. 12, McGill’s Senate passed a motion endorsing McGill’s divestment from corporations involved in the production, transportation, or sale of fossil fuels. The Senate’s decision puts pressure on the Board of Governors (BoG), which ultimately has the power to divest, but has already refused to do so twice before. […]

McGill professors debate the effectiveness of fossil fuel divestment

“The research shows that [divestment] does make a difference,” Mikkelson said. “The most comprehensive study [of divestment movements] was done at Oxford, and they looked at other divestment campaigns that didn’t necessarily cripple the industries they were targeting, but what they did do is make a big public impact, and that spurred governments to take action [….] Divestment creates impact by raising awareness, stigmatizing target companies, and influencing legislation.”

Etzion further emphasized the status of divestment as a social rather than economic movement.

“I don’t really perceive [fossil fuel divestment] as a financial tactic,” Etzion said. “It’s about something much bigger than what you invest in, it’s actually a social movement. And the objective of this tactic is to de-legitimize an entire industry. [Universities] are very influential in how the world perceives issues, and [divestment] empowers people to envision a world that is not running on a path to destruction.”

Université Laval first university in Canada to divest from fossil fuels

On Feb. 15, Université Laval became the first Canadian university to commit to divest its endowment fund from fossil fuel-related companies. Fossil fuel investments made up an estimated five to 15 per cent of the university’s total endowment—equivalent to $11 to 30 million—according to Alice-Ann Simard, founder of ULaval sans fossiles […]