Divest Dalhousie (or Divest Dal) is a project of the Halifax Environmental Justice Collective; a working group of the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group.
Divest Dal is campaigning to have Dalhousie University’s endowment fund divested from the worlds top 200 fossil fuel companies.
We are calling on Dalhousie University’s Board of Governors to commit to:
1) Freeze all new investments in the fossil fuel industry;
2) Divesting all holdings in the fossil fuel industry within four years; and
3) Increased transparency in relation to investment policy and university governance.
Why is this important?
It is wrong for an institution of higher education to profit from industries that are perpetuating climate change. Dalhousie’s investments in the fossil fuel industry actively compromise the ability to lead socially and environmentally just lives. This is not only problematic and dire, it means that investment in fossil fuels undermines the values held by Dalhousie University. As a self-declared leader in sustainability, it’s time for Dal to put its money where its mouth is and invest in the future of our students and the future of our planet.
The vision for the Halifax Environmental Justice Collective, and by proxy Divest Dal, is as follows:
We are a collective of Dalhousie students, alumni and concerned community members who are committed to environmental justice, transparency, and meaningful participation in the University’s decision making process.
We are concerned by the relationship between Dalhousie University and the fossil fuel industry. This relationship expresses support for industries and projects that contribute directly to the destruction of land, environment, and communities, worldwide.
We acknowledge that the effects of environmental destruction and climate change are unequally distributed based on class, race, gender and other factors. We are committed to challenging these tendencies as well as to challenging ourselves to confront power, privilege and oppression in our own organizing. This group is open to, and draws from the diverse backgrounds present in the Dalhousie and greater Halifax community.
We believe it is wrong for an institution of higher education to profit from industries and projects that compromise the ability of our generation, and our children’s generation, to lead socially and environmentally healthy lives. Direct support of and investment in the fossil fuel industry is unacceptable.
We believe that we have a responsibility to act in positive ways to challenge these injustices. We know that the environmental problems of the world cannot be solved by individuals “opting out”, by living ethically or by offering charity. We stand committed to challenging our institutions and the systems to work towards environmental justice.
We recognize that environmental destruction and other forms of social injustice share a common root cause. Our struggle for Dalhousie’s divestment from the fossil fuel industry is therefore linked to struggles for justice more broadly. For this reason we call for environmental justice.
We will work toward the divestment of all Dalhousie University holdings in industries and projects that extract, process, market, or explore for coal, petroleum or natural gas resources.
We will hold the administration accountable to its students and to the University’s goals of working towards a sustainable future. We will make this divestment goal a reality by fostering an active, informed community at Dalhousie to push for transparency and accountability for the University’s investments, policies and actions.
We will work towards the larger goal of environmental justice for all.