Truzaar maintains that in this crucial time of climate action, academics can not isolate themselves from today's pragmatic challenges. "Being an academic must also mean being an activist," he asserts, "we have a moral responsibility to provide informed, workable, and inclusive solutions." Sustainability researchers have an obligation to directly engage with and empower others to act in a way that catalyzes rapid and measurable change.
Fossil Fuel Divestment
Following his Masters thesis on the financial consequences of fossil fuel divestment, Truzaar applied his expertise to oversee developments regarding divestment at the University of Waterloo. His five-year commitment to the movement culminated in June 2021, with the University's landmark divestment and decarbonization strategy; one of the most ambitious of any Canadian post-secondary institution.
During his tenure, Truzaar worked closely in partnership with the board-appointed Responsible Investment Working Group to mandate environmental, social, and governance indicators into the University's investment decisions and become a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. He advised the working group on topics related to financial losses incurred from fossil fuel investments and the legal repercussions of fiduciary duty in the context of climate risk; and addressed the University’s Board of Governors urging them to vote in favour of improved environmental, social, and governance factors in their financial decisions.
Thereafter, Truzaar was invited to serve as an expert member on the President's Responsible Investing Advisory Group, where he contributed to the development of a landmark report which commits the University to divest from fossil fuels by 2025 and decarbonize its investments as early as 2040. He is also a co-author of the landmark 'Investing to Address Climate Change' report.
Truzaar has an excellent record of translating his research to community action, as exemplified by his ability to bridge academic research with on-the-ground activism and contribute to the campaign’s success in mandating sustainability into the financial decisions at the University of Waterloo.
Community and Climate Advocacy
Truzaar has also led the charge on several community initiatives. In 2015, he co-founded the regional chapter of Sustainable Youth Canada, to educate and mobilize youth about environmental concerns and their impact to the region of Waterloo. During this time, he led a team of seven executive members who together raised over $3000 to host two free “What Can YOUth Do” sustainability conferences, connecting over 300 community members and 30 local organizations who share a common passion for environmental sustainability.
In 2019, he contributed the 12th national conference on ‘Economies of Change’ with the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics (CANSEE), where he was responsible for building external partnerships with local organizations. In the first of its kind, this 3-day conference was extended to activist groups, non-profit organizations, industry representatives, government agencies, and community members, who contributed economic, local, and indigenous knowledge of real-world challenges and applications. He has since continued serving with CANSEE as the Vice President of Communications.
Truzaar prides himself on the partnerships he has nurtured both within the academic and local community and finds immense fulfillment in fostering collaborations within his networks. His expertise in conference organization and community engagement has made him a highly respected partner and advisor on other regional activities. His initiatives often have direct and profound implications for the region and its constituents.
Finally, Truzaar writes and speaks extensively about climate finance and energy policy in a manner that appeals to a broad audience. In addition to his academic publications, he has written for the Conversation, National Observer, Alternatives Journal, and Common Dreams. He embraces various channels of communication, including podcasts and radio, exemplifying that his transdisciplinary expertise appeals to a broader audience. His conversations revolve around both individual action as well as institutional accountability, to highlight that all stakeholders have an important role to play in achieving a just and sustainable transition. Truzaar has since been invited to speak about climate action and youth empowerment at various events, including the Smith Leadership in Business Conference, the Global Youth Forum and the Global Solutions Conference. These talks have facilitated discussion around the important roles that various professions and career paths play in working towards sustainability.