Students Ask University of Waterloo President for Action on Climate Change During Town Hall

Innovators Don't Invest in Dinosaurs

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.

“Our Funds — Our Future!” A Night of Discussion and Action

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017 approximately 40 students from all six faculties, interested community members, and faculty braved the rain and mid-terms to gather together for a night of discussion and action at the University of Waterloo’s Grad House. The event was organized by Fossil Free UWaterloo for undergraduate and graduate students from across campus to raise awareness about climate change, the actions that can be taken to help mitigate its impact, and the role a divestment campaign can play in working toward this goal. The speakers, representing three of the University’s six faculties, spoke to the issue, highlighting the ethical, health and financial imperatives of taking action on climate change. Their own research was highlighted, while they also drew attention to the fact that what they teach in their classrooms may not be congruent with current actions being taken by the University, particularly where its investments practices are concerned.

Featured speakers:
Dr. Angela Carter, Political Science
Dr. Craig Janes, Public Health and Health Systems
Dr. Olaf Weber, Environment, Enterprise and Development

Fall 2017: Things are heating up this term (not the least of which is the climate)

A lot of exciting things are happening this term! So many things, actually, that it could get a little overwhelming. So, to make things less hectic, here is a simple breakdown of all the divestment action you’ll want to get in on this term:

  1. Despite our opposition, the Responsible Investment Working Group (the group set up by the Board of Governors to study the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) implications of the University’s investments) will be wrapping up its call for comments this Friday, October 13, 2017. So, if you haven’t yet, hurry and send an email to Mike Grivicic, the group secretary, to let him know that you don’t want the University to fund climate change with your money anymore. Know any other strong divestment supporters? Make sure they send the RIWG an email as well! See more information about the Responsible Investment Working Group (RIWG) here.
  2. To illustrate the widespread student-, alumni-, staff-, and faculty-support for fossil fuel divestment on campus, we’ve launched a petition. So, sign it! Share it! And, share it some more! All student, alumni, staff and faculty signatures are welcome!
  3. Want another way of showing your support for fossil fuel divestment? Want to learn from various experts on climate change, divestment and environmental finance? Maybe eat some free food? Then, save the date for our Divestment and Free Food event on Tuesday,  October 24 from 5:00-7:00 pm in the Grad House. See you all there!

Pipeline Resistance Info Day

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Fossil Free UW will be hosting a Pipeline Resistance Information day. Previously circulated leaflets said this event would take place at Laurier on November 22 and Waterloo December 2, these events have been postponed. They will be advertized here, on our Facebook, and mailing list when they are finalized. We hope you can come. In the meantime both Chippewas of the Thames and the water protectors at Standing Rock are looking for material support and political pressure. Please visit the following sites for ways you can contribute to these struggles:

Stand with Standing Rock

Chippewas Solidarity