50 signatures reached
To: Principal Daniel Woolf and alumni of Queen's University
Queen's University Alumni for Fossil Fuel Divestment
As alumni and donors, we call on Queen’s University 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?
It is morally wrong for an institution of higher education to align its interests with the world’s most destructive industry. Queen’s University undermines its professed commitment to “exemplary service… to the community and the nation and the community of nations” by profiting from the wreckage of the planet.
The “Climate Change Statement of Action,” signed by President Woolf, expressed a recognition that Queen's has an “obligation to demonstrate leadership in areas of community, national and global importance.” It’s time 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.
Leading actors in the financial sector acknowledge that 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, Queen’s 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 Queen’s alumni and donors, we urge our alma mater to take action on climate change and divest from fossil fuels.
Further alumni action:
Alumnus and Toronto Star columnist Scott Vrooman has vowed to rip up his Queen’s degree if the university does not divest and has challenged other alumni to do the same.
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