As alumni, we’re in a unique position to impact the movement to divest from fossil fuels on McGill campus.
Considering that McGill claims to be a leader in sustainability, we find it contradictory that McGill invests its endowment—and therefore alumni donations—in the fossil fuel industry. Extraction and consumption of fossil fuels pollute the natural environment, deteriorate health, and exacerbate climate change. Though we all feel these impacts, they disproportionately affect indigenous communities and communities of color, many of which have been working against the fossil fuel industry for decades.
Unfortunately, efforts to transition away from fossil fuels have been hindered by the industry’s money, political connections, and tacit acceptance from institutions like ours. McGill can play a role by publicly ending its investments in fossil fuels. A mass divestment movement can both harm these corporations’ bottom lines, and delegitimize them in the court of public opinion, aiding local communities’ efforts to reclaim their land, health, and economies. Many leaders in the environmental community have joined students on more than 600 campuses all over the world in calling for divestment.
By signing onto a letter from the McGill alumni to the Committee to Act on Matters of Social Responsibility (the committee tasked with advising the Board of Governors on the ethics of their investments), we can send a strong message to the McGill Board of Governors: Alumni support fossil fuel divestment.
Along with this letter, alumni will have the option to pledge not to donate to McGill until they divest. This pledge would send the message that McGill Alumni are not willing to financially support a university that unethically and irresponsibly invests those donations.
A third option is to join notable alums Karel Mayrand and Camil Bouchard in promising to return their diplomas if McGill does not commit to divestment by March 30th, 2016.
Want to support the divestment movement even more?
There are many other ways to help with the divestment campaign, including:
- Sharing this page with other alumni
- Sign our petition
- Emailing the McGill principal, Suzanne Fortier
- Writing an op-ed
- Getting involved with the on campus campaign
Feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions.