As world leaders met in Bonn, Germany at COP23 to work to cut greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the worst effects of climate change, we pressed President Hamdullahpur during his Town Hall meeting to take the urgent action that is needed and divest its pension and endowment fund holdings in fossil fuel companies.
We used this opportunity to urge the University to meet its commitments to environmental sustainability, and take action on climate change by divesting the University of its fossil fuel investments. During question period we unfurled a banner reading, “Innovators don’t invest in dinosaurs,” and asked the University to deliver on the promised public consultation, to assess the financial risks posed by its fossil fuel company investments, to commit to no new investments in fossil fuels, and to develop a strategy to divest its holdings in these companies over the next five years.
As the University of Waterloo celebrates is 60th anniversary, students are less hopeful about the next 60 years. We thus challenged the University to not only divest fossil fuel holdings, but to take collective social responsibility act as global citizens of behalf of a threatened planet.