Divest McGill meets with Principal Fortier
MONTREAL, QUEBEC (May 23, 2014) – On May 23rd Divest McGill organizers will meet with the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill, Suzanne Fortier, to discuss the university divesting from fossil fuels. As Fortier is new to McGill, this meeting is an important opportunity to explain the logic of divestment, answer any questions or concerns the principal might have, and ultimately gain her support.
Before Fortier began her role as Principal, the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility (CAMSR) rejected the petition for fossil fuel divestment, denying that climate change causes sufficient social injury to merit divestment. Divest McGill hopes that new advancements in the global fossil fuel divestment campaign, such as Stanford’s recent divestment from coal based on finding social injury, and the university’s recently strengthened commitments to sustainability will pressure McGill to reconsider their decision.
Divest McGill hopes to see two important outcomes from this meeting:
1. That divestment be put on the agenda of the November Board of Governors meeting.
2. A meeting with McGill’s Investment Committee to discuss practical and implementable steps in divesting from the fossil fuel industry.
Background: In light of undeniable scientific evidence that we must leave 80% of our current fossil fuel reserves unburned order to avoid catastrophic climate change, fossil fuel companies have continued with business as usual, even blocking climate policies and biasing the media. Divest McGill advocates for fossil fuel divestment as a way to undermine the social license of the fossil fuel industry in order to bring about action on climate change, and is joined by some five hundred other campaigns worldwide. The group has built momentum on campus through open forums and creative actions, and has official support from all three major student unions at McGill University and many other on-campus groups, as well as over 1300 signatures from students, faculty, alumni and staff in the McGill community.