fossil fuel divestment
These institutions should be fostering our move to a renewable energy future with research and innovation
As concerns about the impacts of climate change mount, the movement among investors to divest from fossil fuels is gathering momentum. Divestment -- the opposite of investment -- refers to ditching investments that are unethical, harmful or morally questionable.
The clean money revolution has been quietly unfolding since the 60s and is now showing signs of explosive demand. What's different today? The largest generational transfer of wealth in our history is underway. This estimated $50 trillion dollars of inherited capital can remake the world, even a world dominated by Trump.
I contend that divestment activities are not effective enough, particularly because it is likely to take many years for the campaigns to have meaningful impact - in the meantime, the climate will be damaged beyond repair.
Wastefully exploiting and burning fossil fuels is outdated. There's no reason to put money into industries that destroy the natural systems that make human life possible. But there are many reasons to stop giving them money.
Students from over 20 universities across the country are attempting to convince their schools to divest their endowment funds from the top 200 fossil fuel companies within five years, and immediately freeze any new investments in those companies. And I thought, hey, I have a couple of university degrees, maybe I can help.
Climate change is no longer "a scientific curiosity" but a "growing crisis."
The time has come for McGill University to do the right thing. Indifference is no longer an option on climate change. As one of Canada's greatest scientific and educational institutions, McGill University has the opportunity to show leadership, integrity and vision.
In the midst of this early election storm, people across Canada started crashing campaign events of all the major political party leaders. Over the past seven weeks, the sight of community groups interrupting party leaders to demand answers on climate has become commonplace. People, and not just activists, across Canada and around the world understand that action on climate change means leaving fossil fuels in the ground. What we need now is for politicians to demonstrate that they understand this, and as we enter the second half of this election campaign we need people power to push them to make it happen.
I've been astounded by the lack of response over the years, but I'll go out on a limb and suggest a shift is now taking place. Although we may not recognize its significance without the benefit of hindsight, we appear to be in the early stages of something huge. Even some news outlets are shifting. The U.K.'s Guardian decided earlier this year to increase its coverage of climate change, going so far as to encourage divestment from the fossil fuel industry.