What is fossil fuel divestment?
Divestment is an international movement for institutions like universities, churches, and pension funds to withdraw their investments from fossil fuel companies. The University of Winnipeg has $2.58 million invested in the fossil fuel sector. Alongside a coalition of student groups and faculty, the UWSA is calling on our university to become the first institution in Manitoba to fully divest.
Why is it important?
To avoid climate catastrophe, we must limit global warming to two degrees Celsius. Fossil fuel companies are prepared to burn five times the amount of carbon that would bring us to this critical point. These companies are also pushing for dangerous projects, such as the Line 3 replacement pipeline, that threaten the health and environmental well-being of communities. While fossil fuel companies generate large profits, they are very risky investments.
The U of W takes pride in its commitment to ‘Sustainability and Indigenization.’ Students, faculty and staff have been saying that it is unjust for the university to market itself through this slogan while profiting from the non-consensual exploitation of Indigenous land. We’re asking the university to fully live up to its commitments by freezing any new investments from fossil fuel companies and committing to completely divest from these industries.
Is there support for divestment?
Check out this video of testimonies in support of fossil fuel divestment at the University of Winnipeg. Divestment at the U of W has received public support from international leaders such as Dr. Vandana Shiva, Winona LaDuke, Naomi Klein, Dr. David Suzuki, and numerous guest speakers at the U of W.
How can I help?
Divest Winnipeg is a student group that meets regularly to develop this campaign on campus. If you’re interested in getting involved, check them out on Facebook here!
I want to learn more!
The University of Winnipeg Foundation and the UWSA have had discussions regarding their Responsible Investing Policy and how they can both move towards Divestment. The 2018-19 VPSA, Jade DeFehr presented an update and recommendations to the University of Winnipeg Board of Regents in Spring 2019. You can read the presented speech here: Board of Regents Responsible Investments Speech