University of Victoria students voted 77 per cent in favour of fossil fuel divestment in a campus-wide referendum March 5.
The results boost Divest UVic’s campaign. The group of students is calling on the University of Victoria Foundation to honour commitments to sustainability and socially responsible investing and divest from the fossil fuel industry.
“Financial experts are warning of the risks of investing in fossil fuels, while highlighting the strength of divested portfolios,” said organizer Ellen Trottier. “The facts stand for divestment and students do as well. It’s up to decision makers to side with students and faculty, stand for climate action and divest from the fossil fuel industry.”
Students say the onus is now on the UVic board of governors to divest.
“The urgency of the climate crisis demands immediate action,” said student Natalia Karpovskaia. “By continuing to invest in the fossil fuel industry UVic chooses to be complicit in the climate crisis. UVic must instead stand for climate action and divest from the fossil fuel industry.”
Students unanimously elected candidates who pledged to push divestment through student government.
“I plan to make it clear to the university administration that UVic students will not stand for their education coming at the cost of climate change,” said newly elected student society chair Brontë Renwick-Shields.
At the end of March the UVic board of governors will convene for their spring meeting. Divest UVic hopes divestment will be at the top of the agenda.