Divest McGill is an environmental justice campaign calling on McGill University to acknowledge and address the urgency of the climate crisis by withdrawing the direct (segregated) investments of its endowment fund from the fossil fuel industry. It is also a team of 150 students who have, over the last 7 years, committed time and energy into research, education and mobilization to demand better of their University.
We are part of a worldwide, growing movement. More than $9.94 trillion is being divested from the fossil fuel industry all around the world, and 15% of that comes from educational institutions. We began our campaign in the Fall of 2012, and we’ve been building a strong coalition ever since. Through petitions and formal endorsements, we’ve gained the support of thousands of students; several faculty and staff members (see the McGill Faculty and Librarians for Divestment); as well as major student associations, faculties, and the McGill Senate.
High-profile institutions have a duty to lead the much needed green and just transition of our economies. This starts by removing the moral license to operate given to the fossil fuel industry, an industry with a powerful lobby and a vested interest in preventing emissions reductions.
Complete and transparent divestment from the top 200 fossil fuel companies (globally, by reserves)
Mobilize our supporters in solidarity with Indigenous and other marginalized students on campus, in Montreal, and in Canada
Educate and mobilize the McGill community (administration, staff, and students) in support of bold and justice-oriented climate action such as carbon neutrality and pipeline resistance
– McGill Senate
– SSMU (Student Society of McGill University)
– PGSS (Post Graduate Student Society)
– MAUT (McGill Association of University Teachers)
– Faculty of Law
– Faculty of Arts
– Faculty of Education
– McGill School of Environment
– McGill Senate
– Le Délit
– The Daily
– The McGill Tribune
On September 12th, 2018, McGill’s Senate overwhelmingly approved a motion advising the Board of Governors “to divest the endowment from all companies whose primary business is the extraction, distribution, and/or sale of fossil fuels; and from all mutual funds that invest in such companies”.
In the face of this significant support for divestment, CAMSR (the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibilities, a sub-committee to the Board of Governors), which recommended to continue investing in coal, oil and gas in 2013 and again in 2016, was mandated to assess the issue of divestment for a third time.
CAMSR presented new recommendations in December 2019.
Divest McGill organizes on unceded Kanien'kehá:ka territory. We recognize the deeply rooted connections between the fossil fuel industry, colonialism and extractivism; these projects disproportionately harm Indigenous peoples, cultures and livelihoods. Divest McGill intends to continuously work towards unsettling our environmental efforts within the settler colonial university context by learning about and engaging in solidarity work and accompliceship.