UVic’s partial divestment

2021-02-10

in Canada, Economics, Politics, The environment

It’s hard to know what the exact count is when you count partial divestments, but UVic has joined the set of Canadian universities acting on fossil fuel divestment by transferring $80 million to a short-term bond meant to reduce the CO2 intensity of their portfolio.

All told they have about $225 million and they have pledged to reduce the carbon intensity of the portfolio by 2030. I don’t know if the carbon intensity of a portfolio is really a meaningful idea (how do you divide responsibility for Boeing’s emissions between shareholders and customers, for instance?). I’m likewise skeptical about targets set beyond when the current leadership will hold power.

The hope with divestment is that universities would be persuaded by the arguments that investing in fossil fuels is unethical and financially dubious. Universities have found many ways to act which fall short of condemning the fossil fuel industry and withdrawing all financial support. These precedents arguable erode the case for action, since they substitute the idea that the fossil fuel industry is uniquely dangerous and unworthy of support with the idea that essentially business-as-usual investment management can somehow deal with the problem of climate change.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

. February 12, 2021 at 8:04 pm

UVic takes a big step towards fossil fuel divestment

By James Rowe, Jeff Corntassel, Emily Lowan & Juliet Watts

. March 23, 2021 at 7:58 pm

The University of Victoria’s recent announcement pledging to put $80 million towards fossil-free investments was a success story for student activists, who have been urging their universities and colleges across the globe to divest from fossil fuel investments and switch gears to more environmentally conscious alternatives.

But despite the victory, student divestment groups across Canadian universities say their administrations are not taking them seriously and that they have struggled to get their message across.

Lead organizer of Divest UVic Emily Lowan says there’s often a clear difference in how faculty members treat youth divestment activists and how university administrations treat them.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/03/23/analysis/take-us-more-seriously-fossil-fuel-divestment-groups-canadian-universities

. November 17, 2021 at 3:12 pm

Fossil fuel stocks reduced–-new decarbonization target for portfolio

https://www.uvic.ca/news/media/2021+fossil-stocks-reduced+media-release

. November 17, 2021 at 3:13 pm

“The University of Victoria Foundation announced today that as of September 30, it no longer has holdings of companies in its equity portfolio involved in the extraction and processing of coal, oil or natural gas. Further, the foundation has also adopted a new responsible investment policy that sets a target to reduce the carbon intensity of all investments by 45 per cent by 2030.”

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