Unpacking Divestment: What it means for UWaterloo

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

UWaterloo students explored the topic of divestment in a recent webinar presented by the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) and Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (AHS). The webinar “Unpacking Divestment: What it means for UWaterloo” was held on October 20, 2020.

speaker poster

Speakers Lesley Johnston (PhD Candidate, School of Public Health and Health Systems), Petra Duff (Undergraduate student, Mathematical Physics) and Truzaar Dordi (PhD Candidate, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development) led an educational and engaging conversation about climate change and the importance of divesting from fossil fuels.

The discussion highlights included the role of individuals in taking climate action, the need for systemic change, divestment as one of the critical next steps for a sustainable future, the importance of shifting the narrative (keep fossil fuels in the ground), financial resilience and sustainable investing, and UWaterloo’s role in joining other Canadian universities that are divesting from fossil fuels.

Beyond a very informative discussion, the panelists shared their personal outlooks on dealing with eco-anxiety. As students working and studying complex and sometimes daunting topics, the panelists shared inspiring messages of hope and optimism as they continue to stay movitated in the fight against climate change.  

To learn more about divestment at the University of Waterloo and how to get involved please visit the Fossil Free UW website: https://fossilfreeuw.ca

Webinar description:

Climate change poses an existential threat to human life and the wellbeing of the planet. Among the many actions we can take to mitigate this threat, globally shifting away from a dependency on fossil fuels remains key. Investors around the world are beginning to distance themselves from financing the fossil fuel industry to avoid the financial risks of this low-carbon transition. Many universities around the world hold investments in fossil fuels in pension and trust funds, and student endowment fees, including the University of Waterloo - even as these investments are losing the University millions. In our presentation we share how we have been working with and across the campus to help UWaterloo join Cambridge University, the University of California, the University of British Columbia, Concordia University, and the University of Guelph (among others) to become the innovative climate leader we know it can be. Divestment and transitioning to a carbon neutral portfolio is the right choice for the University of Waterloo, economically, environmentally, and ethically. Join us to find out what you can do to invest in a brighter, greener future!

This was the first event in our Ideas to shape the future: Student Leaders in Climate Action and Research webinar series. Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on upcoming student webinars and other IC3 events and programming.