VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Students and faculty at UBC say they want a cleaner future, that’s why a movement calling on the school to divest from the fossil fuel industry has started. UBC Environment Policy Professor George Hoberg says roughly 10 per cent of the schools $1.2 billion endowment fund is locked into fossil fuel holdings.
A majority of students and more than have of the faculty have voted in favour of ending that in the next five years.
“It is critical because we face a climate crisis and we need to move away from an energy system dependent on fossil fuels as quickly as possible.” says Hoberg.
He says studies show making the change won’t impact returns on investment. “Studies that we have, have shown that if endowments take fossil fuels out of there portfolio, it wouldn’t hurt their returns at all. The important thing really is what UBC can do to show leadership to drive the transition toward clean energy. Divestment is a great step.”
He’s hoping this movement makes others think about their investments and encourages others to move over to cleaner stocks. “It’s important to everyone, because if we don’t figure out a way to get out of fossil fuels as quickly as possible the future environment really is in serious jeopardy. Divestment is one tool. Many people have access to some forms of money like their own pension plans or RSPs etc. and if they start moving that money away from fossil fuels into clean stocks it should help foster this movement.”
A proposal will be handed over to the board of governors on Thursday.