Group hopeful McGill policy change could lead to fossil fuel divestment

June 11, 2014

A shift in McGill University policy could open the door for divestment from fossil fuel companies; however, campus advocates of divestment say they don’t feel as though their voices are being heard. A group called Divest McGill last year presented a petition with 700 signatures to the university’s board of governors asking them to remove from McGill’s financial holdings companies that develop, transport, refine, or sell oil from the oilsands. Though McGill’s Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility (CAMSR) initially denied the group’s request, the board of governors has now decided that “grave environmental degradation” could be grounds for divestment. Moreover, McGill has turned CAMSR into a proactive committee instead of one that simply responds to petitions. While Divest McGill sees these as encouraging steps, one student organizer described their meeting with McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier as “discouraging.” “She kept referring to the complexity of the impact of fossil fuel companies so she clearly won’t be an ally moving forward,” said Amina Moustaqim-Barrette. Montreal Gazette