For Immediate Release

Concordia University First Canadian University to Partially Divest from Fossil Fuels

Decision comes amidst rising momentum for student divestment movement across Canada

See the full press releases from the Concordia Student Union and Divest Concordia

Montreal – This past week Concordia University in Montreal announced it would be divesting $5 million of it’s endowment fund from fossil fuels to establish a special sustainable investment fund.

“Though society demands a much deeper commitment to sustainability than this, we appreciate that the university has publicly acknowledged that sustainable investments should exclude fossil fuels” says Concordia Student Union president Benjamin Prunty.

Members of Divest Concordia were critical of the decision for not going all the way. Divest Concordia  committed to continue to organize to push Concordia to fully divest their nearly $100 million endowment from fossil fuels.

“We were expecting the same kind of leadership as University of Glasgow which became the first university in Europe to divest from fossil fuels,” says Marcus Peters, member of Divest Concordia, “instead Concordia missed an opportunity to take real leadership on the most urgent issue facing humanity – climate change.”

The decision from Concordia came just one day after the Dalhousie University Board of Governors voted against divesting from fossil fuels. The decision came despite unprecedented campus mobilization from students and faculty in favour of divestment. Students responded with a commitment to keep organizing in bigger and bolder ways to push the school to divest.

“We gave our university everything it needed to be a leader on climate change. Instead, the board decided to side with a dying industry. Instead, the board has shown that our future simply isn’t worth it,” says Emi Belliveau, and organizer with Divest Dalhousie. “Divest Dalhousie will continue to move forward alongside all of those who are fighting for climate justice and we will do so from a place of love and hope.”

The fossil fuel divestment movement has been gaining momentum on campuses across Canada in recent months. At the University of British Columbia, organizers have gathered  hundreds of faculty in support of divestment. In Toronto, hundreds of students marched in favour of fossil fuel divestment this past month, and all across the country campaigns are starting, organizing and taking action from BC to Saskatchewan and all the way to Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus in Newfoundland.

“The decision by Concordia University is an exciting first step for Canadian universities on the path to divestment from fossil fuels,” says Kelsey Mech, National Director of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, the organization who coordinates student divestment organizing across Canada. “As students across the country continue to mobilize and our campaigns grow, we know this is only the beginning and will be followed by many more victories.”

Fossil fuel divestment is also building steam off campus with the first ever Climate Risk Forum in Canada planned next Friday in Vancouver.



Kelsey Mech, CYCC National Director,  [email protected]

Cameron Fenton, [email protected]604-369-2155

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