MCGILL DIVESTMENT SUPPORTERS TELL THE BOARD “DON’T BANK ON THE TARSANDS”

MCGILL DIVESTMENT SUPPORTERS TELL THE BOARD “DON’T BANK ON THE TARSANDS”

Supporters float and drop banners on campus as part of the first ever Global Divestment Day of Action.

Montreal, Quebec (February 13th) — Today, supporters of Divest McGill called on the Board of Governors to choose between a safe future for students and dirty energy companies like those in Canada’s tar sands.

Early in the morning, these supporters used helium balloons to float two banners to the top of two of the largest lecture halls on campus, Leacock 132 and the Frank Dawson Adams auditorium. Later in the day, a banner was dropped off the roof of Leacock, reading “Don’t bank on the tarsands, divest McGill from fossil fuels.”

Supporters of Divest McGill coordinated banner floats and drops on campus as part of the first ever Global Divestment Day.

Supporters of Divest McGill coordinated banner floats and drops on campus as part of the first ever Global Divestment Day.

The event was one of dozens across Canada and hundreds around the world for the first ever Global Divestment Day of Action.

“We stand in solidarity with this action. Over one hundred professors signed a letter calling on McGill’s administration and board to divest from fossil fuels, and to do much more to protect our community from climate change,” says David Summerhays of Divest McGill. “At McGill, we are already greening our campus—greening our portfolio is an obvious next step.”

As oil prices have crashed, at least three tar sands projects have been shelved in the past year, showing the low viability of tar sands projects in this low oil-price environment. The irony is that McGill would likely have much more in its pocket if it had divested when Divest McGill first called for divestment two years ago. The poor prospects and widespread opposition to the Northern Gateway, Keystone XL, and Energy East pipelines is another example of the need to move beyond tar sands.

“We absolutely support the message on these banners. Climate scientists and economists are both warning us that the world needs to stop burning and investing in dangerous fossil fuels like the tar sands, and McGill needs to start listening to that call,” says Kristen Perry, also with Divest McGill. “The moral and the financial risk are both too high; it’s time to divest now and start the transition towards clean and dependable energy”.

Over the past two years the fossil fuel divestment movement has grown to hundreds of campuses, churches, cities, towns and communities with over $50 billion already divested from fossil fuels. It has been called the fastest growing divestment campaign in history.

“McGill has been tying itself in knots trying to justify these investments,” says Summerhays. “Principal Fortier loves to talk about how we’re a global institution on one hand, but then McGill doesn’t seem to care about the global impact of its investments. If we’re here at McGill it’s because we’re smart enough to know that doesn’t add up. It’s time for our school to divest from dirty energy like tar sands and promote a better future for ourselves and the planet.”

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Contact: David Summerhays, david.summerhays@gmail.com

Bronwen Tucker, bfp.tucker@gmail.com, 514-260-6096