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.

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. 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

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