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To: David Farrar - President, McMaster University

McMaster University: Divest From Fossil Fuels

We are in a climate crisis NOW. Every dollar that remains invested in fossil fuel companies and the dirty banks that fund them makes it worse. We, the students, faculty, and staff of McMaster and members of the Hamilton community, are calling on the university to stop using students' tuition to fund the destruction of our future.

As of 2022, McMaster has $30.4 million invested in the Carbon Underground 200: the top 200 largest fossil fuel reserve owners in the world. These investments are impossible to reconcile with the university’s supposed commitment to sustainability, reconciliation, and creating a “brighter world.”

On top of this, McMaster is building four natural gas-powered generators next to Coote’s Drive, on environmentally sensitive swampland. These generators will raise our carbon emissions by 415 tonnes for every 60 hours of operation, and McMaster estimates that the project will take at least 13 years to pay for itself [1].

Cost-effective clean energy alternatives exist NOW [2]. We see through the university’s attempts to justify environmentally destructive policies. The notion that we still need fossil fuel investments to fund clean energy projects is a lie.

We have tried to send letters, provide written testimonies with all the evidence, and engage in discussion, but we have been met with indifference and empty statements.

The administration’s irresponsibility is pushing us to take more drastic action. As of March 20th, members of the McMaster Divestment Project are GOING ON HUNGER STRIKE, putting our bodies on the line to try and ensure a livable future for everyone.

We demand that the university protect the future of its students by:
1. Committing to total divestment from fossil fuels by 2025 and reinvestment in clean energy with full public disclosure.
2. Removing the four gas-fired generators at Coote’s Drive.

We will remain on strike until these demands are met.

Why is this important?

All of our futures are on the line. The evidence is unequivocal: continued investment in fossil fuels is wholly incompatible with efforts to avert the climate disaster.

Time and time again, the university has demonstrated their complete disregard for the safety of students and the planet. They pretend to hear your concerns while failing to act in your best interests.

We urge all members of the McMaster community to show your support for the striking students by adding your signature and sharing widely. Let’s show the administration that McMaster is hungry for change.

ABOUT US: The McMaster Divestment Project is a student-run campaign advocating for the university to divest from the fossil fuel industry. As a part of the wider Divest Canada Coalition, we stand in solidarity with students calling for divestment on university campuses across the country. You can find more detailed information and connect with us on our Instagram: @mcmasterdivest.

Hamilton, ON, Canada

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2023-03-23 15:43:30 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2023-03-21 19:52:11 -0400

500 signatures reached

2023-03-14 20:01:18 -0400

100 signatures reached

2023-03-13 13:59:44 -0400

50 signatures reached

2023-03-12 19:24:03 -0400

25 signatures reached

2023-03-08 10:29:05 -0500

10 signatures reached