McGill Faculty Members Call For Divestment from Fossil Fuels

For Immediate Release 

9 February 2015

McGill Faculty Members Call For Divestment from Fossil Fuels

Professors Greg Mikkelson and Shaun Lovejoy holding the open letter to the McGill Board of Governors.

Professors Greg Mikkelson and Shaun Lovejoy holding the open letter to the McGill Board of Governors.

Montreal, QC— 9 February 2015 — Today, McGill Faculty for Divestment submitted a letter to the McGill University Board of Governors, calling on the Board to divest McGill’s endowment fund from the top 200 fossil fuel companies by estimated carbon reserves, with an immediate focus on companies heavily involved in the Canadian oil sands.

“Reducing dependency on fossil fuels is an urgent matter,” said McGill medical anthropologist Dr. Margaret Lock, a signatory to the letter, Officer of the Order of Canada and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. “Divestment by leading institutions such as McGill will send a strong message to industry that the status quo is not acceptable, and makes clear that development of alternative sources of energy is imperative.”

The letter is signed by over 100 McGill faculty members, and has been submitted in support of a petition by the student-led group Divest McGill, asking the Board’s Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility to make a finding of social injury arising from the University’s investments in the fossil fuel industry. Started in the Fall of 2012, the petition now has over 1500 signatures from students, staff, faculty & alumni, and endorsements from all 3 major student associations.

“With the Divest McGill campaign, McGill’s students are asking the University to take a leadership position in the transition to more sustainable energy practices,” said Darin Barney, Canada Research Chair in Technology & Citizenship at McGill, and a signatory to the faculty letter. “It is important for the Board to know that the entire McGill Community supports the campaign for fossil-fuel divestment, including faculty members from across the campus.”

McGill Faculty for Divestment joins similar campaigns by faculty at universities worldwide, including Stanford University in the United States, and Concordia University and the University of British Columbia in Canada.

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McGill faculty members available for additional comment:

Prof. Shaun Lovejoy (English and French)

Department of Physics, McGill University

514-398-6537

lovejoy@physics.mcgill.ca

Prof. Christopher Barrington-Leigh (English and French)

School of Environment and the Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University

438-238-4659

chris.barrington-leigh@mcgill.ca

Prof. Darin Barney (English)

Dept. of Art History & Communication Studies, McGill University

514-398-5683

darin.barney@mcgill.ca

 

Additional resources:

McGill Faculty for Divestment letter http://www.mcgillfacultyfordivestment.com/ 

Divest McGill http://divestmcgill.com/about/our-campaign/

Fossil Free Stanford http://www.fossilfreestanford.org/press-release-jan-11-2015.html 

Divest UBC http://www.ubcc350.org/faculty_divestment

Professors Greg Mikkelson and Shaun Lovejoy holding the open letter to the McGill Board of Governors.

Professors Greg Mikkelson and Shaun Lovejoy holding the open letter to the McGill Board of Governors.

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