Report reveals $20.3 million invested in fossil fuel companies
Halifax, NS – Dalhousie students are excited about the announcement by the Board of Governors of a work plan to investigate fossil fuel divestment.
This announcement comes after 14 months of campaigning by the group ‘Divest Dalhousie’. The group has garnered almost 800 signatures from students, alumni, faculty, and community members, all in support of ending all endowment fund investments in the fossil fuel industry.
“It is clear there is strong support for fossil fuel divestment on campus. A record number of students showed support for divestment at three consecutive Board of Governor meetings,” says Jacqueline Skiptunis, Vice President Academic and External of the Dalhousie Student Union. “Last Fall the DSU council voted in unanimous support of divestment, and we continue to be a strong supporter of the campaign.”
The report, tabled by the Investment Committee at the Board of Governors Meeting, shed light on Dalhousie’s investments. The University Endowment portfolio holds investments in 35 of the 200 companies with the largest carbon reserves, including coal, oil and gas companies. These investments, totalling $20.3 million, represent 4.3% of the university’s Endowment portfolio.
“I am impressed that the university is taking fossil fuel divestment seriously” says Dr. Thomas Duck, a Dalhousie professor in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science. “Divestiture would show that our institution is a true leader sustainability. It is just one of the many ways we can show our commitment to tackling climate change.”
The Investment Committee has also developed a work plan, based on research conducted and presented by DIvest Dal students, with a timeline and how it will review and report back to the board on the issue of divestment. This was welcomed news for members of Divest Dalhousie, who have voluntarily been providing rigorous research to the committee showing the feasibility of divestment and the mounting risks that these investments have in the face of climate change.
“The Investment Committee has stated that it will present the final report in November, as outlined in the work plan, with their recommendations,” Dalhousie student and divestment campaigner Emi Belliveau explained. “Divest Dalhousie is pushing for a decision to be made at that time. Our campaign team is excited at the prospect that Dalhousie University could be the first post-secondary institution in Canada to commit to fossil fuel divestment”.
Divest Dalhousie is a collective of students, alumni and concerned community members campaigning for Dalhousie University’s to divest its $470 million endowment from the worlds top 200 fossil fuel companies. For more information: http://divestdal.ca
(902) 440 9399