To: President Richard Florizone and alumni of Dalhousie University

Dalhousie Alumni for Fossil Fuel Divestment

Dalhousie Alumni for Fossil Fuel Divestment

As alumni and donors, we call on Dalhousie to show leadership on climate change and divest its endowment from the top 200 companies involved in the exploration, ownership or extraction of fossil fuels.

We pledge to withhold donations until a commitment to divestment is made.

Why is this important?

In November of last year, the Dalhousie Board of Governors announced that they would not divest from fossil fuels, citing their "fiduciary duty to generate reasonable risk adjusted returns from a diverse portfolio of investments."

Dalhousie's primary duty is not to "generate reasonable returns," it is to prepare students for the future, and it's an extreme hypocrisy to claim to do that while profiting from an industry that is actively working to make that future uninhabitable. As a self-declared leader in sustainability, it’s time for Dalhousie to demonstrate that leadership by standing with hundreds of other institutions around the world and divesting from fossil fuels.

195 countries, including Canada, have formally agreed that we need to limit the Earth’s temperature rise over pre-industrial levels to two degrees. In order to do this, leading scientists have made clear that at least three quarters of known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground.

Fossil fuel companies ignore the scientific consensus. They are firmly committed to burning all of their current reserves and spend billions of dollars searching for new ones, all while doing their best to block meaningful action on climate change. This reckless pursuit of short-term profits is a dire threat to the health of current and future generations.

Even from a financial perspective, fossil fuel investments are increasingly risky. Former Bank of Canada governor, and current Bank of England governor, Mark Carney said that “the vast majority of reserves are unburnable” if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change.

By divesting from fossil fuels, Dalhousie can act for the future of its scholars and alumni, and add its weight to the political momentum that is already undermining the industry.

As Dalhousie alumni and donors, we urge our alma mater to take action on climate change and divest from fossil fuels.

Further alumni action:

In May, alumnus and Toronto Star columnist Scott Vrooman vowed to rip up his Dalhousie degree if the university did not divest by the fall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9Dv3vAfeXw

He followed through with the pledge in November 2015.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSVY0Ngxix8

If you are an alumni who would like to hand back their degree in protest, please sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/18qGQJ-PoWsHic95RqnF7mPDp8QBuJwiP5DJjIODZdjo/viewform

If you have any questions please email dalalumnidivest@gmail.com

How it will be delivered:

This pledge will be delivered to President Florizone, to send the message that with each passing year the pressure to divest will continue to grow. Let’s make it clear that Dalhouse alumni support divestment!

More information about the student campaign can be found here: http://divestdal.ca/

Halifax, NS, Canada

Reasons for signing

  • Dalhousie has an opportunity to truly assert itself as a leader in sustainability.
  • I have two pieces of paper from this institution. They charged me the highest tuition rates in the nation the whole time I was there. Even a 4.1 GPA wasn't sufficient for a scholarship, yet they have the guile to continually pester me for post-grad donations? Be a real leader.
  • The environment is pretty damn important, no?

Updates

2015-11-10 14:34:39 -0500

50 signatures reached

2015-05-28 14:11:44 -0400

25 signatures reached

2015-05-22 17:32:47 -0400

10 signatures reached