ESG screening isn’t a substitute for fossil fuel divestment


in Canada, Economics, Politics, The environment, Toronto

Following up on their public criticism of President Gertler’s decision in The Varsity, eight out of eleven members of the ad hoc committee published a letter in The Globe and Mail:

Quoting from our report: “The committee recognizes that fossil fuels will remain indispensable and a contributor to social welfare for many years.” We did not recommend universal divestment.

Instead, we called upon the university to lead an effort to, in The Globe’s language, “gradually ratchet down fossil-fuel use worldwide,” beginning with the worst offenders, whose behaviour we should not tolerate. Much like the apartheid regime, the worst offenders need to be identified and isolated. These fossil fuel companies are the ones blatantly disregarding the international effort to limit the rise in average global temperatures to not more than 1.5 C, thereby greatly increasing the likelihood of catastrophic global consequences. These are the companies that are properly the focus of divestment and such a targeted strategy is an application of what has become known as the Toronto Principle.

We tried to get an op-ed, but the G&M was unwilling.

On Thursday, a member of the campaign will be addressing the Governing Council. Before their meeting begins, we will be holding a rally outside.

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