Growing numbers of UVic faculty are calling on the University of Victoria to divest its endowment from fossil fuels, alongside ever-growing numbers of UVic students. This campaign is being run alongside an international movement for divestment from fossil fuels – akin to the movement against Apartheid decades ago. Nine colleges, 22 cities, 2 counties, 23 churches and 19 foundations, mostly in the US, have committed to divesting their fossil fuel interests. Here in Canada, University of Toronto President Meric Gertler recently announced the creation of an advisory committee to determine whether the university should divest its direct stock holdings from fossil fuel companies. Norway has struck a committee to explore the divestment of its 800 billion dollar sovereign wealth fund. And Archbishop Desmond Tutu recently called for an anti-apartheid style boycott of the fossil fuel industry.
There are strong ethical arguments for divestment, as well as increasingly compelling financial arguments. Check out our resources page for more information, news articles and references. Read a few UVIC faculty testimonials!
What can you do?
1) We urge tenured, tenure track, adjunct, limited term, and sessional UVIC faculty to sign an open letter calling for divestment of the UVic endowment from fossil fuels. You can view the current signatories at this link. Consider forwarding this link to other faculty. If you are a UVIC student, consider signing the petition calling for the same.
2) UVic faculty are voting on a motion asking our pension trustees to divest from fossil fuels. This is a change that will not happen overnight, as that would be irresponsible. We are calling on our trustees to recognize the financial risks that fossil fuel investments carry, and to work towards clearing our pension of them. To learn more, read about the reasons to support divestment of our pension here, read the motion here, and vote here (if you are a returning faculty member).