Tag: Divestment

Divestment is not “symbolic,” it’s necessary

Following McGill’s most recent refusal to divest, tenured McGill professor Gregory Mikkelson has resigned from his position. Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier defended the university’s decision to remain invested in the fossil fuel industry, stating that the university’s commitment to decarbonization would be more valuable than a “symbolic” divestment from […]

climate

A case against divestment

On Oct. 10, McGill’s administration held a soirée in celebration of the McGill Sustainability Projects Fund’s (SPF) 10th anniversary. Since its creation, the fund has sponsored a variety of projects related to campus sustainability, ranging from mental health campaigns to climate change sensibilisation. The existence of the SPF, however, does […]

CAMSR reconsidering divestment

The Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility (CAMSR), a governance body mandated to make recommendations to the McGill Board of Governors (BoG) on socially-responsible investing, announced on Nov. 1 that it would be compiling a second investigation into divestment from fossil fuels. CAMSR decided to reconsider their stance […]

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. […]

Divest McGill Illustration

McGill Senate votes to support divestment from fossil fuels

The McGill University Senate—the governing body responsible for academic policy on campus—approved a motion endorsing divestment from fossil fuels on Sept. 12. Senators also delivered four annual progress reports relevant to academic matters, including an update on the Policy on Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Prohibited by Law. Determination of […]

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.”